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MAY/JUNE 2019 | $4.95 May/June 2019 HOTEL BOOM | EXCELLENCE IN TECH | GREEK CORNER

Why Six Hotel Developers are Betting BIZ417.COM

on Springfield


“FRONT COVER” 7.5 X 10.875 INCHES 0.125 INCH BLEED

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“BACK COVER” 8.125 X 10.875 INCHES 0.125 INCH BLEED

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“INSIDE LEFT PAGE” 8.125 X 10.875 INCHES 0.125 INCH BLEED

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INSIGHT

POINTING THE FINGER A manager complains about how terrible an employee is to a friend. This launches into a series of stories about all the things the employee has done. The conversation ends with the friend sympathizing with the manager and sharing words of encouragement, validating the manager's story. An employee complains about their supervisor to a coworker. The employee describes a supervisor who is demanding and unreasonable. The coworker shares their own stories about the supervisor and their incompetence. The two end their conversation with a shrug and the phrase, "Well, what can you do?" These types of conversations happen frequently inside and outside of organizations. Whenever you spend a significant amount of time with someone, it is only natural to become frustrated with them. Coworkers get frustrated with coworkers. Managers get frustrated with employees. Employees get frustrated with managers. People tend to vent their frustrations to others, and to be supporting and empathetic, people tend to listen to the venting and even add to it. The problem is that this type of conversation can be very damaging to a team. It erodes trust because people start to wonder who is talking about them behind their backs. Worse yet, the conversation is focused on a problem that cannot be solved: how someone else acts. A universal truth about people is that we cannot make anyone else do anything. You can "order" a subordinate to do something, but that person still must choose to do it, and sometimes the person will choose not to follow the order or to do it halfway. Complaining about someone else's choices is futile because you have no control over those choices. What you do have control over is what you do. How could the above conversations change to something much more helpful and healthier?

417.887.6760

A manager complains about how terrible an employee is to a friend. The friend asks the manager, "Well, how have you managed this employee and what can you do differently?" The manager starts to think about their approach and how they can use a different approach to help the employee become more successful or move to another position outside of the company. An employee complains about a supervisor to a coworker. The coworker asks, "What do you think we can do to help our supervisor be more effective?" The two talk and agree that the supervisor seems to be stressed and they both agree to step in and try to be more helpful in those situations. When that does not work, the two employees decide to approach the supervisor and collaborate with them to find solutions. Conflict at work is healthy when people take personal responsibility for their actions. As a problem arises, it is up to each of us to act in a way that will make the situation better. Pointing the finger at someone else is only complaining about something that you cannot change.

PEOPLECCG.COM


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SPRINGFIELD’S HOTEL BOOM

Multiple hotel developments have sprouted across 417-land, but do these projects fulfill a need or are they oversaturating the market? BY ETTIE BERNEKING

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2019 EXCELLENCE IN TECHNOLOGY AWARDS

Three companies and three individuals were recognized for their innovation at the third annual Excellence in Technology Awards.

Gordon Elliott of Elliott Lodging debuts Best Western's third Vib hotel in Springfield, a boutique brand geared toward a younger, modern traveler.

BY JULIANA GOODWIN

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BIG VISION, BIG HEART

Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery's growth through acquisitions not only makes it a successful business, but allows the company to give back in multiple ways. BY JULIANA GOODWIN

PHOTO BY COURTESY TK PHOTGRAPHER BEST WESTERN HOTEL AND RESORTS

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CONSOLIDATING AND STREAMLINING

Wilhoit Properties, Zimmerman Properties and Zimmerman Properties Construction unite under one roof in a newly built and designed office space. BY JENNA DEJONG

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Breakthrough strategies

18 BREAKTHROUGH

25 NIGHTSTAND

18 FOUR TO FOLLOW

25 HEAT INDEX

20 ON THE RISE

26 TIPS

21 Q&A

31 MY LOOK

23 IDEA TO STEAL

32 MEET THE MAKER

How Drury increases funds

Mary Ann Rojas' favorite profiles Streamlining processes at CoxHealth Big Whiskey's moves headquarters Handwritten letters go a long way

32

Julie Cumming’s favorite read The hot news you need right now The secret to honing your pitch Diffusing tension with ties One local breaks into a niche market

25 CORNER OFFICE

A conversation with Chris Bauman

Tools to help you dominate

37 GIVING BACK

42 REVIEW

38 VANTAGE POINT

43 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

40 ADVICE & WHISKEY

44 MENTORSHIP MOMENT

Donating through entertaining Six decades of DeWitt & Associates Gordon Kinne's words of wisdom

43

Previewing the newly extended sales tax Canna Bliss' eye toward the future Building intentional relationships

41 DO IT NOW

Everywhere you need to be

72 CALENDAR

Where to go and what to do

76 THE SCENE

Relive moments from the best events

SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 6 ISSUES, $24. PLEASE CALL OR VISIT BIZ417.COM/SUBSCRIBE. ALLOW 4–6 WEEKS FOR PROCESSING ORDERS, PAYMENT AND CHANGES OF ADDRESS. SINGLE ISSUE: $4.95; BACK ISSUES, $6 PLUS $8 SHIPPING AND HANDLING, IF AVAILABLE. NO BACK ISSUE ORDERS OR SUBSCRIPTIONS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES. ADDRESS CHANGES: INCLUDE BOTH NEW ADDRESS AND MAILING LABEL WITH OLD ADDRESS. BIZ 417 (ISSN 23763604) IS PUBLISHED BIMONTHLY BY WHITAKER PUBLISHING, LLC, 2111 S. EASTGATE AVE., SPRINGFIELD, MO 65809–2146. © WHITAKER PUBLISHING, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION OR USE IN ANY MANNER, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. POSTAGE PAID IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, AND ADDITIONAL MAILING OFFICES. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO BIZ 417, 2111 S. EASTGATE AVE., SPRINGFIELD, MO 65809–2146. THE MAGAZINE ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS, ARTWORK OR CARTOONS. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

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PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS, BRAD ZWEERINK

Developing a contingency plan


Making the Move

TAKE THE LEAD AND REGISTER FOR LADIES WHO LAUNCH Be among the women of influence who are driving change at Biz 417’s second annual Ladies Who Launch presented by Volt Credit Union on Thursday, July 18. The half-day leadership conference kicks off at 11 a.m. with lunch and networking, followed by powerful, research-backed and relevant content, and will wrap up with a rosé happy hour.

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May/June 2019

Our programming focuses on how to bet on yourself, the importance of building a personal brand and tips for sharpening your negotiation skills. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Tasha Eurich (pictured above) also speaks on how self-awareness can help you succeed in your career. Give yourself a competitive advantage, and register today—the event will sell out. To learn more and to register, visit biz417.com/LWL.

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS, BRAD ZWEERINK, COURTESY DR. TASHA EURICH

Paul Sundy made the tough decision to move the Big Whiskey’s headquarters from downtown Springfield to Ozark. In an extended Q&A, we asked him how the move benefits his business and how he thinks the move will impact the future of Big Whiskey’s. Read the full interview at biz417.com/relocation.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTERS: • Ladies Who Launch • Biz Break

AND CONNECT WITH US ON: BIZ417.COM


May/June · Volume 4, Issue 4 · 2019 ADVISORY BOARD Teresa Coyan Director of Public Affairs CoxHealth Lyle Foster Owner Big Momma’s Coffee & Espresso Bar Robert Fulp Chairman and CEO Springfield First Community Bank Heather Hardinger Director of Workforce Strategy and Programs Taney County Partnership Bruce Nasby President, Global Advisory Associates LLC Chair, Vistage Worldwide Ashley L. Norgard Attorney Kutak Rock LLP Danny Perches Project Manager, Economic Development Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Mary Ann Rojas Director City of Springfield, Department of Workforce Development Ozark Workforce Development Board Denise Silvey Human Resources Manager Paul Mueller Company Doug Neff Chairman and CEO Commerce Bank Debbie Shantz Hart Owner Housing Plus LLC Paige Oxendine Program Coordinator efactory BIZ417.COM

May/June 2019

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MAY/JUNE · Volume 4, Issue 4 · 2019

EDITORIAL

MANAGEMENT

Jenna deJong

Gary Whitaker

EDITOR

PUBLISHER GARY@417MAG.COM

Katie Pollock Estes

Logan Aguirre

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Claire Porter

PRESIDENT/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER LOGAN@417MAG.COM

MANAGING EDITOR

Haley Darnell

PROJECTS EDITOR

Megan Johnson

VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS AND CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS MJOHNSON@417MAG.COM

Sarah Patton

Ammie Scott

ART DIRECTOR

Brandon Alms

SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER & DESIGNER

VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGY AND SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ASCOTT@417MAG.COM

Joan Whitaker

Dylan Lyle

VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE JOAN@417MAG.COM

EDITORIAL DESIGNER

WHAT TO KNOW & WHERE TO GO p. 10 WEEK. TO WIN THE

BIZ 417

Straight to your inbox every Monday.

Sara Gensler

EDITORIAL DESIGNER

Dayle Duggins

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

JuliRose Sullivan

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Krysten Muench

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT ART COORDINATOR

Jessie Rotton

SIGN UP AT BIZ417.COM

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR INTERNS

Madison Bryan, Courtney Keady, Celeste Koritz, Caiti Sloman CONTRIBUTORS

Christopher Akins, Amy Ray Photography, Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective, Carol S. Dweck, Gordon Elliott, Melanie Earl-Replogle, Got You Looking, Mary Ann Rojas, Sapp Design Architects, Starboard & Port, Alex Wolken, Brad Zweerink

SALES & MARKETING Janelle Haik

MARKETING DIRECTOR

Logan Swope

EVENTS COORDINATOR

Khaley Watts

BRAND DESIGNER

Landra Bunge

FINANCE COORDINATOR

Bernadette Pry

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SUBSCRIBER CARE & BACK ISSUES

Please call Dayle Duggins at 417-883-7417. TO ADVERTISE

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May/June 2019

Brittni Bynum

CLIENT COORDINATOR MANAGER

Katie Wilson

CLIENT COORDINATOR

Christy Howell

ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR

Elisabeth Behnke

ADVERTISING DESIGN COORDINATOR

Linda Huynh

ADVERTISING DESIGNER

Kylie Green

Please call Logan Aguirre at 417-883-7417.

ADVERTISING AND BRAND DESIGNER

PERMISSIONS & REPRINTS

Abigail Clark, Gabby Jagears, Rebecca Land, Aliyah McBride

Please call Brittni Bynum at 417-883-7417. LEGAL COUNSEL FOR WHITAKER PUBLISHING PROVIDED BY

Chelsea Warren

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

INTERNS

Jami Wightman

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

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MARCH/APRIL 2019 | $4.95 March/April 2019

FROM THE GROUND UP HOW JOPLIMO MATTRESS OVERCAME A TORNADO AND THE GREAT RECESSION

A NEW FACE

WHY THE ERLEN GROUP REBRANDED FROM SPRINGFIELD UNDERGROUND

PREP FOR ELECTION DAY | WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS | JOPLIMO MATTRESS’ PERSEVERANCE

WOMEN WHO MEAN

BUSINESS

WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS

BIZ417.COM

The women featured in the March/April issue of Biz 417 offer feedback on their cover story:

“The article is beautiful, and I have gotten many compliments on it. You probably made me sound better than I am…so THANK YOU!” —Amanda Kastler, partner at Elliott, Robinson & Company, LLP “The best was my husband reading the article and saying ‘that’s SO you.’ Thank you for capturing my passion, drive and well, happy dust! I truly hope to stay connected. I’m in your debt.” —Julie Swift, Vice President for Waypoint “Thank you so much! You did a great job on everyone’s stories. It was an honor to be part of this wonderful group of women!” —Shelley Wehner, co-owner, project manager and designer at Cabinet Concepts by Design Corrections: In the March/April issue, we incorrectly listed Kaitlyn McConnell’s title as Media Relations Coordinator. It should have been Media Relations Manager. In addition, we printed Amanda Kastler’s age as 37 when it should have been 40. We regret the errors.

HOW TO CONTACT BIZ 417 facebook.com/biz417 @biz417

PHOTO BY BRANDON ALMS

linkedin.com/company/biz-417

Jenna deJong/Letters to the Editor Biz 417 2111 S. Eastgate Ave., Springfield, MO 65809 biz@417mag.com www.

BIZ417.COM

Biz417.com

May/June 2019

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A Little Birdie Told Me

In A Personal Touch, you’ll learn about the very creative handwritten notes that Emily Johnson sends to 150 contacts each month. I’m one lucky recipient of these monthly notes and look forward to seeing what little gift and fun phrase she has come up with each time. Judging by how clever they are, and the fact that they are each handwritten, I assumed she wrote a few each month. That’s how special they make you feel! But 150?! Hats off to you, Emily. P.S. Pretty please don’t drop me from your mailing list!

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May/June 2019

Logan Aguirre President, Biz 417

PHOTO BY ALEX SOLOMAN

LOGAN’S FAVORITE LESSONS

“What are you hearing?” That question is the most important one we ask when we gather our Biz advisory board together every quarter. When this group starts talking, we listen. When we met in late January, the discussion turned to the hotel boom we are experiencing in 417-land. Vib opening last fall, the expansion of Hotel V, the new Tru property on Elm and the Moxy planned downtown, to name a few. There were opinions and concerns and insidery tidbits that you only get when you gather some of the most influential business leaders spanning banking to law, entrepreneurship to workforce. You weren’t supposed to be reading about the hotel boom. We had planned an entirely different cover story but left that meeting wondering if it was time to pivot. Soon after, a news release hit from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Springfield about the need for a new convention center to attract meetings, conventions and tourists after the opening of Wonders of Wildlife. And then the story followed me to the board room at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. I’m the current Vice Chair for Workforce Development for the Chamber, and in this particular meeting we heard an update from Tracy Kimberlin, president of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. His headline: that our hotel developers had an overreaction to good news related to the surge in new visitors, thanks to the opening of the Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium. The story officially had momentum now, and deserved a deep dive. We dove in. Writer Ettie Berneking found the words of caution from Kimberlin are not really phasing the hotel developers here. Berneking talked to each of them about the unique hotel brand they are bringing or launching here and what niche they are excited to fill. Their prediction: millennials, families and business travelers are going to continue to be attracted to our corner of the world. Kimbelrin’s fear? We don’t have enough additional attractions or large-scale events and conventions in the pipeline. If there isn’t enough to attract people to match the number of rooms, we could find ourselves in a pricing war to the bottom. So what are we missing? A large convention center complex and tournament-style indoor athletic facilities are the two keys that could help drive more demand. There are rumblings of a new convention center. But any word on creating an indoor athletic facility to attract large competitions and tournaments are only whispers. But we’re listening.

BIZ417.COM


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2

“That is part of the reason I have been especially passionate about hosting events and trying to get more women into tech because I didn't know anything about it. I wish I had sooner. Maybe I would have gotten a degree in it.”

“I just know my product inside and out, which made it really easy to go up there and tell people about it.”

—Jordan McAdoo, recipient of the Rising Star Award

—Bob Vavrinak, creator of The Door

at the Excellence in Technology awards, about getting women involved into the technology field. See her story

Balancer, on why pitching his product

on p. 59.

went smoothly. See his story on p. 26.

3

“[I had] competitors before I got into volunteer stuff, and I really wanted to not like them, but then you get put on a board with them, and they’re really pretty good guys. We can compete against each other, but we still bring value to the table. It just expands your life so much to give back. It’s a piece you’ve got to have.”

BOOK NOW AT VIBSPRINGFIELD.COM

—Gordon Kinne, president and owner of Med-Pay, Inc., on getting involved in the community. See his story on p. 40.

4

5

“For us, it wasn't about how cool our office was, it was about the product we were putting out to the general public We moved when we absolutely had to.” —Paul Sundy, co-owner of Big

“What I want to remember is there is a human being wearing this shirt and we want it to be the best shirt possible so they have the best experience in it. None of us really need another T-shirt; most shirts are bought as an emotional experience, a mission trip, a baseball game, it’s an emotional experience.”

Whiskey's on moving headquarters from

—Jason Parke, owner of Greek Corner Screen Printing

downtown Springfield to Ozark. Read

and Embroidery, on why he focuses on the customer

his story on p. 21.

experience. Read his story on p. 64.

BIZ417.COM

May/June 2019

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BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGIES

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS, COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK

“Ultimately, if you don’t market yourself, people won’t know you’re here.” —William Angle, owner, Trail Labs See story p. 32.

Moving On Up

Shifting Big Whiskey's headquarters to one double the previous size is no easy feat, but Paul Sundy shares tips that made the transition easy. Page 21 BIZ417.COM

Calling Cards

Striking a Balance

Page 23

Page 26

Sometimes leaving an impression is easier said than done, but real estate agent Emily Johnson found a personalized way to make a lasting impact by writing individual cards to clients and connections, keeping her name top-of-mind.

Big Box retailers like Walmart rule the market, so it's a major win when a local product from a small business gets picked up. Bob Vavrinak got his door balancer in front of the right people, and now he's showing you how to make it onto shelves, too.

May/June 2019

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[BREAKTHROUGH]

FOUR TO FOLLOW

WITH MARY ANN ROJAS The director for the City of Springfield’s Department of Workforce Development shares her favorite podcasts and Twitter follow.

FINDING THE FUNDS

LEADERSHIP PODCAST “In ‘How to Have Hard Conversations with L3 Leadership Founder Doug Smith,’ it talks about laying ground rules with your staff or with the individual that you have to have a difficult conversation with, whether it’s about staff development, improving in a particular task or behavior, or having to fire somebody. It’s very good and very practical.”

BY SAVANNAH WASZCZUK

The Problem While fundraising at Springfield’s Drury University (DU) was in a solid position in 2017, a then-new president, Dr. Tim Cloyd, recognized a potential for much more.

The Big Idea Drury increased its efforts and goal amounts for scholarships and financial aid for the following year, and it included social fundraising and crowdfunding as a part of its strategy. An end-of-fiscal-year May 2018 crowdfunding project on a social fundraising platform, GiveCampus, played a major role in these efforts. “There was a lot of excitement and momentum from alumni and friends, and we wanted to rally around that,” says Melanie Earl-Replogle, Drury’s Director of Annual Giving & Stewardship. GiveCampus was the perfect platform, as it afforded the university the ability to reach anyone with a mobile device and offered videos and other interactive features to grow engagement.

The Learning Curve Earl-Replogle came to DU with 17 years of university fundraising experience, so she was prepared for the challenges that often accompany crowdfunding efforts. “There is almost always a U curve in these types of campaigns,” Earl-Replogle says. To help get through the lull, Earl-Replogle suggests adding something new to rekindle the excitement in the middle of the campaign, such as changing up promotional materials. Another piece of advice for first-time crowdfunders is making sure you have a strong start. “It’s a good rule of thumb to make sure you have about 30 percent of your goal lined up before your launch,” Earl-Replogle says.

The Takeaway The Annual Drury Experience Fund drive totaled $1.5 million, and more than 20 percent of that total was donated during the May 2018 crowdfunding push. For success, an organization or company must first select the right platform for its campaign, then find innovative ways to reach its audience. “Try to make it fun, and think about what’s going to get people’s attention,” Earl-Replogle says. “At Drury, we have even more momentum and excitement now with a new academic platform, Your Drury Fusion, and we plan to continue with crowdfunding to celebrate that excitement.”

FIVE ON FIRE AMAKA AGUGUA-HAMILTON EDD AKERS KIRK ELMQUIST MOLLY MILLER KATIE TOWNS

OPRAH'S SUPERSOUL CONVERSATIONS PODCAST “It’s Oprah, and she just has such a great way of connecting with people. […] Most of the interviews are geared toward learning about the individual sitting across from her, and they’ve been through a lot of the same things we have. They seem to be insulated just by the nature of their celebrity or their position.”

THE POTTER'S TOUCH PODCAST “Bishop T.D. Jakes has some really good, inspirational stories. […] One thing he said when he was talking about leadership and growing in that space is that you don’t have a whole lot of time during the day and have to use it wisely. He said it’s all about the team you build around you. You have to step back and let others do what they do best, and if you have to hold onto something and do it yourself then you have the wrong people.”

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT “It has to do with the work I do every day. It helps me stay updated on any new businesses that are coming to the state of Missouri and workforce challenges that are being addressed across the state. And it’s a way to keep up with any national news that might be affecting our state and our local areas.” @MoEcoDevo

Melanie Earl-Replogle

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PHOTOS COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK, MELANIE EARL-REPLOGLE, MARY ANN ROJAS, L3 LEADERSHIP PODCAST, OPRAH'S SUPERSOUL CONVERSATIONS PODCAST, THE POTTER’S TOUCH PODCAST, MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

BY KATIE POLLOCK ESTES


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[ON THE RISE]

PRESENTED BY

THEY’VE GOT GAME. For the first time ever, the Great Game of Business created an opportunity for a handful of local, small businesses to participate in its revolutionary open-book management philosophy, based on the book Great Game of Business. Now, Biz 417 brings those participants plus co-author Jack Stack himself to B-School. Learn about open-book management and hear how the Great Game for Small Business has literally changed the game for Volt Credit Union, Mother’s Brewing Co., Penn Enterprises Inc. and Cabinet Concepts by Design.

Imprivata PatientSecure vein recognition links patients to the correct records.

SAFE & SECURE Health care is a busy field with a constant stream of new people and new situations that need instant medical attention. With lives on the line, health care workers need technology that grows with them. BY MADISON BRYAN

Jeff Schrag Mother's Brewing Co

Loretta Roney Volt Credit Union

Alesha Gonzales Penn Enterprises, Inc.

Matt Wehner Cabinet Concepts by Design

Shelly Wehner Cabinet Concepts by Design

PURCHASE TICKETS AT BIZ417.COM June 13 | 7:30 — 9 a.m. 1127 Battlefield Road

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May/June 2019

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n 2018, The Joint Commission, a national nonprofit that accredits health care organizations and programs, published that its No. 1 patient safety goal was proper patient identification. At CoxHealth, it was noted that as many as 5 to 10 percent of patients were being entered into the system multiple times due to human error. With so many patients, medical personnel wanted to make certain they could safely connect patients to their medical records. CoxHealth found a solution in Imprivata PatientSecure technology, a system that promotes patient safety and facilitates proper patient identification, even in dire circumstances. Because of the features of this technology, even if the patient is unconscious, medical professionals using PatientSecure can use palm vein recognition to accurately access the patient’s medical records and gain complete knowledge of allergies and previous health problems and provide immediate medical care even if traditional patient identification is not available at the time. “I believe it will save lives,” says Jack Cole, IT administrative director at CoxHealth. To minimize confusion when debuting the new tech, CoxHealth rolled out the program in-house by starting at smaller facilities to monitor any problems that arose before moving to bigger hospitals, Springfield clinics and rural areas. To get patients acquainted with the switch, brochures were distributed in offices so patients could study and take home the information. Registration staff also received vivid training to better be able to handle customer questions and concerns. The rollout was a success because, as of March 2019, more than 65,000 patients have already enrolled in PatientSecure. PatientSecure is sold by Imprivata, and CoxHealth is the first hospital in Missouri to use it. As of January 2019, PatientSecure has gotten out to most hospitals and clinics around Missouri, with the exception of a few specialty clinics. BIZ417.COM

PHOTO COURTESY COXHEALTH

Jack Stack SRC Holdings Corp


does your conference

room need an a-v

[Q&A]

upgrade? STREAMLINED MEETING ROOM EXPERIENCES

SMOOTH MOVE Whether it applies to your business or home, no one says moving is easy. Big Whiskey’s relocated its home base from its 3,000-square-foot office in downtown Springfield to a 6,000-square-foot office in Ozark. Coowner Paul Sundy explains why they made the move and offers advice on making an easy transition. BY TESSA COOPER BIZ 417: WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO MOVE BIG WHISKEY’S HOME BASE FROM DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD TO OZARK? PAUL SUNDY: We just needed more space. We were in the same building but on different [floors] inside the building. We had divvied ourselves up, and it just wasn’t conducive for the growth that we had. The synergy just wasn’t there, and it presented communication challenges. We already owned the building in Ozark, and it’s kind of close to Highway 65. Typically, when we have people come in for franchise visits, we take them to all the stores. The location makes for an easy way to get in any direction. In addition, a lot of business partners live on the south side [of this area]. It just made sense to cut down on that one-way 30-minute commute for most of us in the office. Ozark is a great community to be in, but for us, it was more than that. It was the Highway 65 access that was a big deal for us, and running out of space was the main reason. BIZ: DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BUSINESS OWNERS LOOKING TO MOVE THEIR HEADQUARTERS? PS: For us, it wasn’t about how cool our office was, it was about the product we were putting out to the general public. We moved when we absolutely had to. Your business will tell you when you need to move. It will tell you when you need to make a decision. Sometimes people want to have a really nice office, but they just don’t have the business [in mind].

QSC offers a fully integrated audio, video & control ecosystem along with networked amplifiers and loudspeakers that serve the smallest meeting room to the largest enterprise. No need to piecemeal hardware or software from different manufacturers.

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PHOTO BY BRAD ZWEERINK

BIZ: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO MISS THE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD? PS: Moving from downtown hurt my heart a little bit. I started my first business there, and there I grew all the way to 30-plus businesses in different areas. I will miss the people and the culture of entrepreneurs that breed out of downtown. There is also a ton of killer restaurants and happy hour spots. I’m sure I will be back with something soon.

VISIT BIZ417.COM TO READ ABOUT SUNDY'S LOGISTIC TIPS AND HOW THE MOVE BENEFITS THE BUSINESS. BIZ417.COM

May/June 2019

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[IDEA TO STEAL]

A PERSONAL TOUCH For Rhoads Real Estate agent Emily Johnson, creating a quality experience is always at the forefront of her mind, which is why every month she sends 150 handwritten cards to past and current clients, friends, family and connections she’s made in the community. BY JENNA DEJONG

ILLUSTRATION BY COURTNEY KEADY; PHOTO BY BRANDON ALMS

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mily Johnson’s entire career is based off client experience and communication. She was an art director for several advertising agencies before working as a real estate agent for Rhoads Real Estate. To maintain past connections and grow new ones, she mails 150 handwritten cards a month, with a little gift that coincides with the message. She calls it her handwritten letter campaign. Each month Johnson spends roughly 15 hours handwriting a message with a small surprise. Sometimes it’s a stick of gum with the note thanking recipients for "sticking with her", sometimes a bookmark, but, regardless, her messages carry much more weight than their simple appearance gives credit. “Let’s say you are on my list of 100 people,” Johnson says. “Then you know 100 people, so I stay constantly in your mind whether you want to buy a house yourself. If my 100 people know 100 people then that’s potentially 10,000 people that I could help.” The idea started with a real estate mentor in St. Louis. A year into her role as an agent, Johnson decided to add a new element into her marketing strategy and adopted the campaign as her own. Since writing her first note over a year ago, Johnson’s tracked which cards were more successful based on feedback and referrals. The cards keep her connected and have an extended reach with numerous connections at a time. Even better, she usually receives at least one referral, social media mention or thank you card from recipients each month. Emily Johnson

VISIT BIZ417.COM FOR EXAMPLES OF EMILY JOHNSON’S CATCHY MESSAGES. BIZ417.COM

May/June 2019

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DON’T DON T LET I.T. ISSUES

SLOW YOU DOWN

YOUR TECHNOLOGY PARTNER

417.334.0494 | dazzee.com

19 YEARS EXPERIENCE WITH: CITY GOVERNMENTS • SCHOOLS • MEDICAL OFFICES • PRIVATE BUSINESSES • AND MORE

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[HEAT INDEX]

[CORNER OFFICE]

HEAT INDEX Notable happenings in the local business scene. BY JENNA DEJONG

GOING THE DISTANCE Once a struggling student himself, the new superintendent of Ozark School District Chris Bauman is in it for the long haul after his first year, pushing past the growing pains of restructuring to make decision-makers of staff who work closely with the district’s 6,100 students. BY SUSAN ATTEBERRY SMITH

PHOTOS BY BRAD ZWEERINK, COURTESY CAROL S. DWECK

His vision for the new position: Chris Bauman says the district— restructured into business, learning and operations departments— remains progressive in a technological age. “My vision for Ozark schools is to continue to be in the forefront, to continue the system that we already have that really fosters quality thinking in our kids, that pushes them to really address those global needs.” How he become a school administrator: After graduating from Aurora High School, Bauman enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard and became an officer. He set his sights on administration “largely because one of the people I respect and have loved as a leader was Mr. Jerry Bough.” Then-Ozark Junior High Principal Bough hired Bauman in 1999 to teach math and coach volleyball and wrestling. After a year’s deployment to Iraq in 2005, Bauman became assistant principal. Where he looks for inspiration: “I think a lot of time it’s the people that I work with. First and foremost, it’s the kids. It’s the students and knowing that we can potentially make a difference for them.” His favorite failure? As Ozark Upper Elementary’s new principal in 2007, Bauman was eager to see students invested in their academic progress—but he changed too much too quickly. After faculty and staff observed an assessment program at Aurora’s Robinson Intermediate School, “it went from being my vision to the building[’s] vision, and things just took off. Once I empowered [staff] to do it and I stepped back, we were able to accomplish the things that I needed to accomplish.” BIZ417.COM

NIGHTSTAND “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck outlines two different mindsets an individual can adopt: fixed and growth. Fixed indicating one’s belief that your basic qualities and abilities are ‘fixed.’ Growth indicating that your basic qualities and abilities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies and your help from others. I love how it is solidly based on research yet provides clear examples so individuals can visualize how they may make small changes that can have profound positive impacts.” —Julie Cummings, Managing Director and Chief Human Resources Officer at BKD

VOTERS DECIDE ON THE FUTURE OF 417-LAND On April 2, voters passed Proposition S, which is set to generate $168 million and fund 39 high-priority projects within Springfield Public Schools. That same day, the 20-year sunset provision of the one-fourth– cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax also passed, meaning Public Works can turn to additional funding sources to plan larger projects. The Ozark School District’s board approved a $57 million long-range plan to fund expansion and remodels. Voters in the area could see this on the ballot within the next year.

SALES TAX CONTINUES TO RISE April continues this year’s upward sales tax trend. The City of Springfield reported that revenues are up 8.6 percent compared to last year, and March and February showed favorable trends as well.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR WALLET Your night out at Hammons Field just got pricier between Trafficway and East St. Louis Street and at the parking garage near the Expo Center, both owned by JD Holdings. The lots increased parking to $14 per vehicle, up from $4. Originally, JD Holdings increased the rate to $20 but after public complaints, the rates were lowered, though still up from last year's $5-10. At press time, negotiations were still being discussed and finalized.

May/June 2019

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#NAILED IT FAILED IT

[TIPS]

PERFECTLY PITCH YOUR PRODUCT

Share your triumphs and stumbles with us on Twitter with the hashtag #naileditfailedit.

Bob Vavrinak identified a problem, created a product and pitched it to a major retailer. Now, after a grueling pitching process, his product is on shelves in many stores. Here’s how he did it. Bob Vavrinak

Bob Vavrinak came up with the idea for The Door Balancer more than 17 years ago. Vavrinak, who was a carpet cleaner for 23 years, noticed a common annoyance in his customers’ homes: doors that wouldn’t stay open. “Whether it’s the bedroom or front door, so many of my customers had to prop their doors open with another object,” Vavrinak says. He had the same problem in his home, which is why he created The Door Balancer: a patented spring that provides tension to balance faulty doors and keep them from closing on their own. It’s a simple solution to a common problem—a solution that Vavrinak felt confident he could sell. Vavrinak won the attention of Walmart managers and is currently in the planning process to get his product in stores, in additional to selling 150 products per month online. For Vavrinak, successful pitching comes down to three things. TIP 1: Know Your Product Before Vavrinak applied for Walmart’s annual open call for product pitches, he made sure he was intimately familiar with every detail of his product—from the spring mechanism to customer implementation. “I didn’t really have to develop a sales pitch,” Vavrinak says. “I just know my product inside and out, which made it really easy to go up there and tell people about it.” TIP 2: Be Prepared for Anything When Vavrinak was asked to pitch his product at a Walmart Supercenter in Springfield, he was met with a surprise. “I thought I would just go to talk to the manager,” he says. “Instead, they had a table set up at the front by the registers. They had managers from four different Walmart stores and an area buyer. Not only did I have to pitch the product in front of all of them—I had to do it in front of the shoppers walking by.” TIP 3: See a Need, Fill a Need For Vavrinak, product development comes down to identifying a need in the market. That pushed his pitch to the top of the pack. “As it turns out, one of the store managers and the buyer both had the exact same problem I was trying to solve,” he says. “Before I pitched the product, I assumed they would take it, maybe try it at their home and then go back and talk to Walmart and let me know,” he says. “Instead, they immediately brought out a cake and told me I’d be moving on to pitch the product to Walmart corporate."

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BE THERE 2019 W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award May 8 at 11:30 a.m. Oasis Hotel & Convention Center

The Network’s SGForum: Empower June 7 at 11 a.m. Veridian Events

Biz 417’s B-School: Great Game for Small Business June 13 at 7:30 a.m. Andy B’s

LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE EVENTS AND MANY MORE ON P. 72

“Upon meeting a potential client for the first time and touring their home, I strongly urged that a tree be removed that was blocking the front door to enhance the curb appeal. As it turns out the potential client was an arborist for the city and was appalled at my suggestion. Needless to say, he did not hire me." #FailedIt

#Nailed It Failed It Martin Gugel, see his story on p. 42. “In 2017, the Public Works Department was due for re-accreditation with the American Public Works Association, and I was asked to lead the effort. After months of coordination, and the dedication and efforts of our team, we not only achieved re-accreditation, but we were recognized for two model practices.  Great rewards through great teamwork!" #NailedIt "I enjoy woodworking in my spare time, which requires careful measurements to ensure the finished piece comes together.  Near the end of a long project, I had carefully measured one piece of a set of identical parts, and cut all of the pieces using that one as a guide, without taking the time to measure the cut pieces.  When time came to assemble the parts, I discovered I was an inch short on each piece.  Turns out that my tired eyes had been looking at the wrong mark on the tape when I measured the first piece, and compounded that mistake when I cut the rest.  We will all make mistakes as we go through life, but the key is to identify those mistakes and not repeat them." #FailedIt

PHOTO BY BRANDON ALMS

BY LILLIAN STONE

#Nailed It Failed It Emily Johnson, see her story on p. 23. “In 2018, every home that I listed in [southwest Missouri] sold on average within 15 days and for 98 percent of the initial listed price.” #NailedIt

BIZ417.COM


PROMOTION

B E YO N D B US I N ESS

Cary Charles, Director, Business Development; Sherry Coker, Executive Director; Bobbi Box, Business Manager; Veronica Lowe, Business Manager

DELIVERING PERFORMANCE-DRIVEN SOLUTIONS TO YOUR BUSINESS

Y

Like a good mechanic, the Business Solutions Team our business should run like a well-oiled maemploys a sophisticated toolset: years of experience chine. When your team’s efficiency is at peak helping local businesses, an educated and highly skilled performance, nothing can stop you. However, staff and an arsenal of industry gurus even the most robust machines require your business can turn to for almost any occasional maintenance. Maybe your challenge. They provide business-to-busiteam is facing productivity challenges, “...you should ness professional development, training, the stress of a major transition in leadonly trust your consulting and coaching services. Going ership or just an overall lack of employbusiness in beyond a quick-fix solution, they equip ee engagement. Whatever the case, the hands of you and your leadership team with perconsider the Business Solutions Team someone who formance-driven solutions to propel your at OTC’s Center for Workforce Developtruly knows what business or career toward success. ment to be your mechanics. they’re doing.” The next time your company hits a You wouldn’t hire a mechanic with bump in the road, no matter how big or no experience. Likewise, you should small it is, know that you’re not on your only trust your business in the hands of own. The Business Solutions Team at OTC’s Center for someone who truly knows what they’re doing. For over Workforce Development can provide solutions specific 20 years, the most trusted, successful companies in to your business’s unique challenges, allowing you to 417-land have turned to OTC’s Center for Workforce keep your focus on the road ahead. Development when they needed assistance.

OTC’s Center for Workforce Development BIZ417.COM

1001 E Chestnut Expwy, S pringfield

417-447-8902

workforce.otc.edu/solutions May/June 2019

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PRESENTS

SPONSORED BY


CONFERENCE AGENDA

TAKE THE LEAD Biz 417’s Ladies Who Launch sold out its inaugural event in 2018. This is your shot to be part of it—to spend an afternoon starting with lunch, filled with networking, and speakers immersed in research-backed, relevant content. Volt Credit Union presents keynote speaker Dr. Tasha Eurich who has built a reputation as a fresh, modern voice in the business world by pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to professional development. Over her 15-year-plus career, she has helped thousands of leaders around the world become more self-aware and successful.

July 18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Glendalough Conference Center Early Registration $85, Corporate Tickets (5 or more tickets) $75 each

11 a.m. - Registration

Arrive on time to network with the fearless women in 417-land and snag a seat for lunch.

11:30 a.m. - Bet On Yourself Speaker: Carmelita Jeter Presented by Spencer Fane

1 p.m. - How to Build Your Personal Brand Speaker: Priscilla McKinney Presented by Mercy

2 p.m. - Work Smart: Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills

Speaker: Laura Backer Presented by KPM CPAs & Advisors

3:15 p.m. - Powering Up: How Self-Awareness Helps Women Succeed Speaker: Dr. Tasha Eurich Presented by Volt Credit Union

4:30 p.m. - Rosé with Rosie

End the day with glass of rosé provided by Queen City Wine Dive. Build authentic connections and a community of ladies who are ready to launch and have your INSIGHT book signed by Dr. Tasha Eurich.

REGISTER NOW AT BIZ417.COM/LWL


PROMOTION

B E YO N D B US I N ESS

Lesley D. Guillot, Buddy Webb, Stephen Bent

TAKING RESULTS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

T

they’ve established relationships with. How do they do he architectural design and construction process it? By tuning into each client’s vision and getting to know can be intimidating and sometimes even confusthem personally, taking the process and the results to the ing. Technology, materials, methods and codes next level. are ever-changing, and most construction After 23 years in business, Buddy projects are a significant investment in both “Buddy Webb & Webb & Company has become extremely time and money. Luckily, Buddy Webb & Company is very particular and detail oriented, especially Company’s number one goal is to make sure client-focused, and when it comes to construction documents. their clients get an end product that they they seek to make They go through multiple quality control love within their budget. the process as and coordination checks and have very Buddy Webb & Company is very client-foeasy and enjoyable high standards for how those documents cused, and they seek to make the process as possible.” are put together and the level of detail as easy and enjoyable as possible for clients, provided. This is very beneficial to the from beginning to end. Their company unclient, because it ensures the final product derstands that communication is essential, comes out exactly as planned and prevents the cost of so they balance providing their knowledge and experiunnecessary changes. ence with taking the time to hear and understand what If you’re ready for a collaborative team approach to the client needs and wants. design and construction, call Buddy Webb & Company. It speaks volumes that most of Buddy Webb & Company’s clients are repeat, long-term clients that

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417.877.1385

buddywebbco.com

BIZ417.COM


[MY LOOK]

ALLEVIATING ANXIETY WITH ACCESSORIES How one attorney at Rooney McBride & Smith uses his wardrobe to break the ice with clients. BY JENNA DEJONG

PHOTO BY BRANDON ALMS

Scott Smith’s litigation career has been dedicated to assisting angry or upset clients. He spent three years focusing on product liability law before making the switch to divorce and family litigation at Rooney McBride & Smith, and he knows the importance of diffusing tension. When clients walk in the door, they are stressed. The people he works with are experiencing uncomfortable, traumatic and sometimes devastating life changes, which is why he does everything possible to alleviate their worries. His job requires him to make the litigation process a smooth one, and under this umbrella falls dressing “professionally trendy.” Because of his profession, Smith says clients expect a professional dress; he tries to avoid the redundancy, not only for his sake, but also as a conversation-starter. “As an attorney I have to dress very professionally but also it can get somewhat boring wearing the same navy-colored suit every day, so I try to [wear] anything from fun socks to more colorful ties to add some color and character to what is otherwise boring attire,” Smith says. His efforts have paid off. His roughly 75 ties, unique lightsaber cuff links and patterned socks win the attention of clients, and soon the tense meeting is diffused by a similarity in likes and dislikes. “I think those things help break the ice, and I think it helps identify me as a person and that I have a personality,” Smith says. “When people are coming to me, it’s a very stressful time for them, and I found that maybe a tie I’m wearing or a crazy sock will normalize [the situation] and not make me appear so stuffy but rather approachable.”

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May/June 2019

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[MEET THE MAKER]

An avid mountain bicyclist while living in the United Kingdom, William Angle (front) brought his suspension expertise to the Ozarks when he realized no such services existed regionally.

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With Trail Labs, William Angle is bringing mountain bike suspension services to the Midwest.

CORNERING THE MARKET How first-time business owner William Angle turned a passion for mountain biking into a highly niche suspension service business. BY LILLIAN STONE

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS

T

o say that William Angle offers a niche service might be an understatement. Angle founded Trail Labs, the only mountain bike suspension service center in the Midwest, in 2017. For Angle, it started as a hobby: The avid road cyclist started mountain biking in 2013 when he was living in the United Kingdom with his wife, Christina. Angle quickly joined the UK’s massive mountain biking culture, biking daily and training with several major bike brands. That’s how he met Ian Kennedy, the founder of the UK’s leading mountain bike suspension service center, TF Tuned. When Christina was offered a job at the family business in Springfield, Angle realized he had a unique service to offer outdoor enthusiasts in the Ozarks. He explored the U.S. mountain bike market and realized that suspension specialists were rare, forcing many mountain bikers to send bikes back to the manufacturer for costly, inconvenient repairs. The idea for Trail Labs was born. When Angle opened his doors in 2017, he was eager to appeal to Ozarks outdoor enthusiasts. However, the first-time business owner realized he had a lot of work to do. Although the Ozarks had a major cycling culture in place, Angle had to educate his customer base. “I went around to all of the bike shops and tried to educate people about the necessity of [suspension service],” Angle says. “My biggest hurdle was probably selling the service, letting people know that this is routine maintenance that you really have to do. It’s something a lot of people don’t think about.” After about a year of relying on word of mouth and face-to-face salesmanship, Angle decided to explore digital marketing. He quickly realized that none of the other U.S. mountain bike suspension specialists were investing in digital marketing, which informed his advice to other niche businesses:

BIZ417.COM

“My biggest hurdle was probably selling the service” —William Angle “See who else is doing [what you’re doing], and see where they’re not doing it well,” he says. “Ultimately, if you don’t market yourself, people won’t know you’re here.” Angle connected with Wake Creative, a local marketing agency, to develop a compelling digital marketing presence, working with cycling influencers and running a targeted ad strategy. It’s paid off: According to Angle, the business had its highest-grossing month ever in January 2019. As a first-time business owner, certain business logistics were also a hurdle for Angle. “It was hard to go from running the business on the side to doing it full-time and trying to understand the workflow,” he says. That encompassed everything from taxes to inventory control. “Actually establishing the business as a legal entity, figuring out how to pay the sales tax, figuring out state bonds—it was a lot,” he says. Ultimately, Angle got advice from other bike shops and business-minded family members, learning how to navigate the state website in the process. Inventory control was another unexpected obstacle. “Inventory control is probably the hardest

part of this because each brand is different,” he says, noting that brands package the same parts differently, which can make it tough to know exactly what you have in stock. That was even true for Angle, who has a military logistics background. “You can’t just make an Excel spreadsheet,” he says, pointing out that Trail Labs uses QuickBooks for now, although a custom system might be in the near future. Despite the challenges of starting a highly niche business, Angle’s business is growing consistently. He’s now certified to work on nearly every major bike suspension brand, and he’s the designated Midwest service center for both Cane Creek Cycling Components and Ohlins USA Inc., a Swedish brand. Angle is proof that, with grit and a lot of persistence, a passion project can turn into a lucrative business.

BEHIND THE BUSINESS Date opened: April 2017 Number of employees: 2 From mind to market: 3 years Revenue for the last quarter: $30,000 in service sales Profit from the last year: All profit invested back into business expenses VISIT BIZ417.COM TO SEE HOW ANGLE MAKES SUSPENSION MAGIC HAPPEN. May/June 2019

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While you’re taking care of your business,

we’ll take care of you. For over 34 years, 417-land clients and their employees have trusted Med-Pay with dedicated service, expert guidance and product innovation. We work harder so your life is easier.

Employee Benefits | med-pay.com | 417.886.6886


TOOLS TO HELP YOU DOMINATE

“Honesty makes a good mentor. Being really, really open to talking about success and failure. I always learn more from failures than I do from success.”

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS, BRAD ZWEERINK

—Jeff Schrag on his mentorship with Diana Royalty. Read more from the pair on page 44.

Healing Herb

Missouri’s medical marijuana law means businesses are prepping for dispensary licenses and the hurdles that accompany them. Page 43 BIZ417.COM

Party with a Purpose

Getting on Board

Page 37

Page 40

With options like casino games, DJs and movie screenings, Ozarks Entertainment ramps up any party, but their most purposeful is a casino night for St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton School.

Med-Pay Inc. owner Gordon Kinne shares his insight over sips and brews, and some of his best tips are how to balance community involvement, board activity and family life.

May/June 2019

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[GIVING BACK]

I

f you ask Marc Backes, owner of Ozarks Entertainment, the key to a successful party, he’d tell you it’s good entertainment. And if donation dollars could talk, they’d tell you he’s right. Since his entertainment business began offering services in 2010, it has helped nonprofits raise more than $1 million. Ozarks Entertainment provides DJ services, movie projectors, bingo games, casino set-ups (minus the slot machines) and photo booths for private parties and fundraisers alike. At some events, Ozarks Entertainment might provide all of its services at once. “We’re the draw for the fun night, but the nonprofit sets up different types of fundraising options around us, like silent and live auctions,” Backes says.

Ozarks Entertainment transforms the ordinary event space into a casino fit for a night of wheeling and dealing.

Entertaining Fundraising

By hosting casino nights and offering lighthearted DJ services, photo booths and more for nonprofits, Ozarks Entertainment is changing 417-land’s fundraising landscape. Organizations are swapping black ties for poker faces by partnering with the business for their fundraising needs.

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX WOLKEN

BY TESSA COOPER

PHILANTHROPIC PROFILE

2

EMPLOYEES

BIZ417.COM

FOUNDED IN:

2010

MONEY HELPED RAISED:

$1 MILLION+

The business is best known for helping nonprofits host poker nights. Through its services, Ozarks Entertainment adds a memorable touch to successful events like the Sertoma Chili Cook-Off, Ozarks Beerfest Eve Charity Poker Tournament, Rock n’ Ribs and CASAblanca. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Nixa Athletics and C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue are also on the list of happy clients, and the list keeps growing. However, one of Ozarks Entertainment’s biggest annual charity events is a casino night for St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton School. On the signature night, Ozarks Entertainment transforms the ordinary event space into a casino fit for a night of wheeling and dealing. The company exchanges tables with fancy linen and extravagant centerpieces for classic green felt–lined poker tables adorned with chips. According to Backes, it’s an extremely successful event that raises $20,000 to $40,000 each year. Backes says Ozarks Entertainment occasionally offers discounts for nonprofits on a case-by-case basis. “We work with nonprofits differently than we do with for-profit entities,” he adds. “I always want to give back. We can play a game, and we can have fun, but we can also do it and raise money for a good cause.” May/June 2019

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[VANTAGE POINT] Ramsay Manning, vice president of operations; Ben Stone, vice president of finance; GR Stovall, president; and Jeff Jones, vice president of preconstruction, head up DeWitt & Associates Inc.

BUILDING THE FUTURE Throughout 60 years in the business of construction and contracting, DeWitt & Associates Inc. has maintained its status as a trusted partner to the 417-land community. BY CLAIRE PORTER

F

or the past 60 years, DeWitt & Associates Inc. has been maintaining a reputation of integrity and quality that is as strong as the buildings the company has built. And that’s not by accident. The company upholds its mission “to serve our teammates, our partners and our communities by building with quality and integrity.” And build they have. DeWitt & Associates has a rich history, starting as W.E. DeWitt’s one-man construction company in Tulsa in the 1920s, spreading into Springfield and morphing into DeWitt-Newton Inc. in 1959. The company was renamed DeWitt & Associates Inc. in 1972. Although the name changed, the legacy remained, and that mantle sits heavily upon the shoulders of today’s leadership, who have the vantage point of a company that has navigated the ups and downs of the construction and contracting industry. “Looking back at what all employees before us have built, we as current employees have the responsibility to pave the way into the future,” says Ben Stone, chief financial officer. DeWitt & Associates is employee-owned and structured as an ESOP, or employee stock ownership plan, and has been for the past 30 years. In an ESOP, company stock is held in a trust, and shares of stock in this trust are allocated to all eligible employees. Because employees’ stocks are affected by the company’s performance, ESOP companies have a culture of ownership and responsibility. “In part, our ESOP structure causes us to take long-term views when considering challenges and opportunities,” Stone says. “We’re in a risky business, but as employee-owners

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who are bought-in for the long haul, we try to take only well vetted risks that will enhance the company’s value, both current and long-term.” DeWitt & Associates’ employee-owners pay careful attention to the decades-long reputation that has established the company as a trusted advisor in the eyes of its clients, according to president GR Stovall. At DeWitt & Associates, that means being with clients every step of the way; establishing a culture of respect that permeates every level of the company, from field workers to project managers; and recognizing This year marks DeWitt & Associates Inc.'s 60th that the clients’ endpoint isn’t a year in business. The company was founded building, but rather what a new by project managers Jerry Stiefvater and John Newton, estimator Joseph Newton and presibuilding allows them to achieve dent William DeWitt. for their organizations and for the community. “It’s cool to be part of the projects from start to finish,” Stovall says. “It’s very rewarding to walk into a university building or health care facility where we have contributed to a building that allows our clients to serve their clients. Our mission is to serve. Knowing that we were a part of that is a very gratifying feeling.” Hospitals, schools, retail and municipal projects fill DeWitt & Associates’s book BIZ417.COM


“It’s very rewarding to walk into a university building or health care facility where we have contributed to a building that allows our clients to serve their clients.”

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS, COURTESY DEWITT & ASSOCIATES INC.

—GR Stovall, president of business and have for decades. And according to Ramsay Manning, vice president of operations, the company is trusted because of the compassion and integrity of each employee. “The integrity of this company and the legacy of this company is not preached,” Manning says. “It’s something that just develops within people. The morals and business ethics that have been steadfast all through DeWitt, that’s the consistency [we’re known for].” That adherence to culture comes from the company’s insistence upon partnering with and working for their clients. That culture of integrity is also evidenced in the long-term employees, some of whom have been with the company for 40 years, who have passed on their historical expertise. Manning himself has been at the company for 22 years, and Stovall returned to DeWitt & Associates as the president after working for the company years ago. “That history was something that spoke to me,” Stone says of his decision to leave his accounting job to work for the company five years ago. For a lot of companies who have breached the half-century mark, their histories are sprinkled with pivots and rebrands that have kept them afloat. One would especially expect that to be the case for a company operating within the volatile construction and contracting industry. But according to Stovall, the biggest secret to DeWitt & Associates’ success has been consistency and adherence to its mission and culture, strategies that he hopes will take them into the next 60 years. “We have to hold fast to that idea that we’ll still be a trusted advisor,” he says. “I don’t think anything is going to change about quality of work, integrity, service, those boilerplate things. I hope that [in 60 years] we’re that organization our community has always been able to depend on.” BIZ417.COM

Tyson Johns, President

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May/June 2019

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[ADVICE & WHISKEY]

GORDON KINNE GIVES BACK

Gordon Kinne has found the perfect balance between community involvement and family.

Gordon Kinne owns Med-Pay Inc., a company he started in 1984. Over the years he’s also volunteered his time with the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, the Council of Churches of the Ozarks and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, among others. Most recently he was given the 2019 Springfieldian Award. We sat down over drinks at Great Escape Brewing Co. to talk about the balance of career, family and being involved in the community. BY JEFF HOUGHTON

“The first reason you may want to serve on a board is that it’s an honor to be asked. You have to ask, ‘Is it something you have a heart for? Is it something you’re passionate about?’ If not, you probably shouldn’t do it.” “It helps network you with people who know you for something other than your career.” “When you have your own business, get involved in the community and have kids, you just kind of give up your own stuff. I gave up golf, my extracurricular was the kids.” “It was good for us to get clarity every so often. Laura and I always got a date night, got a babysitter to have that time to reconnect. I don’t know if we didn’t do that if our marriage would have survived.” “[I had] competitors before I got into volunteer stuff, and I really wanted to not like them, but then you get put on a board with them, and they’re really pretty good guys. We can compete against each other, but we still bring value to the table. It just expands your life so much to give back. It’s a piece you’ve got to have.” “Most people are caring, they want to help somebody they see that needs help. It’s just more fulfilling to you as a human being.” “Make sure you get buy-in from your spouse or your significant other for your community involvement. You need to be open to them wanting to do the same thing, it’s a partnership.”

IPT E C E R ** * * E * * H * * T *&** * * * * * * **or*don Kinnen

PHOTO BY BRAD ZWEERINK

“It helps round you out as a person, not be worried just about yourself, there’s really nothing more joyous than giving time or money.”

G hto ers Houg ff Port e k J c o er R 2 Riv

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[DO IT NOW]

A CONTINGENCY PLAN Employees moving on to other companies or new ventures is a naturally occurring event in the workforce. As a member of an HR Department or someone in charge of hiring, you’ll want to always be prepared for when this happens. BY EVAN GREENBERG

MAINTAIN A NETWORK Having a list of people in mind to fill a position can prove extremely helpful in streamlining the process when it comes to a new hire. “I’m a huge believer in building a network,” Samantha Tyler, president of Springfield Area Human Resources Association, says. “When a position does come open, [make] sure you do have two to three people in mind that you’ve met throughout the community or other employers who you know would be a great fit for that position.” Tyler makes a point to be in regular contact with members of community organizations, whether that’s through Springfield Chamber, The Network or Rotaract of Springfield. “The more you can get plugged in in your community, then the greater network you’re going to have,” Tyler says.

ESTABLISH A REFERRAL PROGRAM At KPM in Springfield, the company has set up an employee referral program designed to recruit and bring in new hires who come with the endorsement of someone already at the company. “We’re always sourcing candidates from [a referral] perspective,” Sara Choate, Human Resources Director at KPM, says. “I talk about it every month in our meetings. KPM has a system where employees get bonuses for referring someone to the company as well.

KEEP A ROLODEX A good hiring manager isn’t blindsided by an employee’s departure and ideally has a plan to put into action when it happens. “I always have those individuals—and I think anybody in the recruiting world will tell you—that they have in mind that they’re always kind of reaching out to,” Choate says. “I like to reach out to people who I just know are strong networkers in the community.” Choate also has people that she checks in on every so often to see if they are satisfied with their current job. After all, doing due diligence can go a long way. BIZ417.COM

May/June 2019

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[REVIEW]

Funds from the recently passed Capital Improvements Sales Tax are going toward expanding Primrose Street.

SO THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS SALES TAX HAS A LONGER LIFE. NOW WHAT? What to expect from Public Works within the next year. BY JENNA DEJONG

Location: Primrose Street (South to Kimbrough) Estimated Cost: $2,381,698 Timeline: Bids opened January 22, estimated completion is October 2019 Project: Construction on Primrose Street begins in the summer during decreased school traffic. This is the last leg in making Primrose five lanes from Glenstone to Campbell Avenues. This project focuses on the stretch between South Avenue and Clay Avenue along Kickapoo High School frontage. Location: Grant & Division intersection improvements Estimated Cost: $224,814.25 Timeline: Bids opened February 5, estimated completion is June 2019 Project: Gugel says this smaller scale project focuses on traffic signal replacement, ADA improvements and minor geometric improvements. Location: Jefferson Avenue Footbridge Timeline: Estimated bid date is fall 2019 Project: This project also receives funding from the one-eighth–cent Transportation Sales Tax.

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PHOTO COURTESY THE CITY OF SPRINGFIELD DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION

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pril 2 marked the passing of Proposition S, but voters also favored Question 1, passing the City’s one-fourth–cent Capital Improvements Sales Tax, which has a 20-year sunset provision. Within the next 20 years, the tax is expected to generate more than $11 million annually, according to a press release. The passing did not include a sales tax increase. Assistant Director of Public Works Martin Gugel says the timeline allows for larger projects, more funding opportunities and the ability to plan for the unexpected. Using this tax, Public Works plans to begin and wrap up the following construction projects around the City of Springfield within the year:


[LEGISLATIVE UPDATE ]

A FRONTIER PIONEER Canna Bliss wades through Missouri’s new medical marijuana law with the hopes of being one of the first dispensaries in 417-land. BY JENNA DEJONG

PHOTOS BY BRAD ZWEERINK

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t’s been half a year since Missouri’s medical marijuana law was passed, and lawmakers are still putting finishing touches on what this new amendment looks like for our region. Applicable rules and regulations are expected to be developed and set no later than June 4, according to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services’ website. Although the details are not yet solidified, Canna Bliss, a local CBD-specialty store, is wading through the uncertainty and complicated process of obtaining a dispensary license with the hopes of becoming one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries in 417-land. Through personal experience, Jamie Tillman, owner of Canna Bliss, witnessed how medical marijuana provides relief to someone with a medical ailment. She opened Canna Bliss in late 2018 with the idea of promoting natural wellness to help those who suffer from anxiety, joint pain, acne, diabetes and more. The store’s inventory currently includes products like capsules, gummies, lotions and creams. Since Amendment 2 passed, Tillman’s wasted no time. She secured a second location for selling medical marijuana products, signed up for bud tender school to learn how to care for marijuana plants and

Jamie Tillman

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joined the Missouri Medical Marijuana Cannabis Trade Association. Although Tillman’s planning is well underway, obtaining a legal license is anything but certain. Tillman already submitted her pre-filing application fee, but she’s not able to submit an application form until August 3. Per the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services’ website, applicants receive a cultivation, manufacturing or dispensary license with 150 days after the application is received, if the

Since Amendment 2 passed, Jamie Tillman has secured a second location for selling medical marijuana products. application is approved. In addition, dispensary facilities require a $6,000 non-refundable application fee and a $10,000 annual fee, per the website. According to Tillman, submitting an application fee early doesn’t exactly put her ahead of the game. Because details and logistics are still getting finalized, no response will come from the state department until after August, when she can officially apply. Always the planner, should Tillman not get approved to be a medical marijuana dispensary, she will use her second location to sell more CBD-infused products. For those wanting to break into this new state industry, Tillman advises patience. For more information and updates, visit health.mo.gov. May/June 2019

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[MENTORSHIP MOMENT]

HOPPING UP The chief operating officer of People Centric Consulting Group and founder of Mother’s Brewing Company reflect on a mentorship built on taking initiative. BY LILLIAN STONE

Biz 417: What were you hoping to get out of the mentorship process? Diana Royalty: I knew some of the things I was struggling with, and I wanted

to get a different perspective on life in general. I had just been promoted to my first executive level position, and I didn’t know what I was doing—I still don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. [Laughs.] But I’m always looking for that other perspective, and Jeff has been where I am, essentially. He was young and successful and growing things and scaling a company, and I needed to know what was coming. Jeff Schrag: You always get more than you give. What I got was a perspective on identity—a perspective on being a female in our community. That’s something we struggle with: How do we cultivate [women] and minorities in a largely white, male society in Springfield? What I have learned is that, in order to promote [women] in a community, you have to look past the same qualifications [a

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man may have]. [Women] may not have had the opportunity to get the same [leadership] experience as professionals, so you have to be open to looking for alternative qualifications. Biz: What makes a good mentor—and a good mentee? JS: Honesty makes a good mentor. Being really, really open to talking about

success and failure. I always learn more from failures than I do from success. I would also say—and I probably don’t rate myself very high on this—being able to listen. DR: I needed to make sure I had something to talk about; I needed to make sure I was prepared to honor this man’s time. I came prepared with problems and stuff that I was going through and people I wanted to meet that he was connected to. Biz: Any networking advice? JS: An old friend of mine used to tell me to talk to people on their time, not

on my time. If she wanted to meet someone, she would attend some sort of public gathering [where she knew that person would be]—be that a Chamber meeting or Downtown Association meeting. That way, you can meet people on their time. DR: I think that networking is intentional relationship building… It can’t be just for a sales opportunity. I don’t think that networking works if you’re just in it for the business side of things. I learned that from Jeff. BIZ417.COM

PHOTO BY BRANDON ALMS

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beer mogul and a young consulting executive walk into a bar. It sounds like a punchline in the making; in reality, it’s an apt description of the first meeting between Mother’s Brewing Co. owner and founder Jeff Schrag and Diana Royalty, chief operating officer of People Centric Consulting Group. The two connected through the Springfield Chamber of Commerce— Schrag was a board member, and Royalty was serving on the The Network’s leadership council. We sat down with Royalty and Schrag to talk about the power of intentional relationship building.


REGENTBANK PA S S I O N T O S E R V E


SPRINGFIELD’S

HOTEL

BOOM Springfield’s hotel scene has seen an impressive growth spurt, but some officials are cautioning the market is oversaturated.

WRITTEN BY ETTIE BERNEKING ART DIRECTION BY ALEX WOLKEN

A SUITE EVENING The luxe life is available to travelers and residents alike thanks to luxury suites in hotels like Hotel Vandivort.

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PHOTO BY BRANDON ALMS

Springfield has enjoyed a surge of new hotels during the last few years. Although the growth has been a bonus for the city’s business traveler and visitor, there is a question of whether the jump in available hotel rooms is growing too quickly. The city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau is warning that the market is already oversaturated, and more than 500 new hotel rooms are scheduled to come online between 2019 and early 2021. Even many area hotel developers admitted that the market is at risk of flying past demand. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping new hotels from breaking ground. Maybe they see a growing market of visitors and tourists. Maybe they see the potential draw from attractions like Wonders of Wildlife, which brought in 1.6 million visitors in its first year of business. Maybe they’re hedging their bet on Springfield’s growing segment of business travel. Or maybe they’re being foolishly optimistic. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: Springfield’s hotel industry is surging. Now the only question is how long that surge can last if demand for rooms doesn’t surge with the supply. To get a better understanding of which types of hotels are making their way to Springfield and to learn what’s drawing them to the Queen City, we talked with six hotel developers who all have big plans for the future of Springfield.

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Tru By Hilton

Before diving into Springfield’s growing hotel industry, it’s worth pointing out the obvious. “People don’t go to a city to stay in a hotel,” says Tracy Kimberlin, president of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. People travel to visit family, see a ballgame or attend a concert or a business function. The hotel comes in when they need a place to crash. Increase a city’s draw as a destination, and the number of hotel rooms increases with it. That’s exactly what’s happening here. As the city becomes more of a destination with the growth of MSU, business headquarters and Wonders of Wildlife, the number of hotel rooms has jumped 13.3 percent between January 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019, according to the CVB, which said 195 new rooms opened last year and 569 additional rooms are expected to be finished between this year and early 2021. That increase worries Kimberlin. “Building more hotel rooms can actually be a bad thing,” he says. “If supply gets out of whack with demand, you end up with a rate war.” As available hotel rooms surge, Kimberlin has already seen trouble. In January, Springfield’s room sales were down 1.7 percent, and by February it dropped 5 percent according to Kimberlin. Despite the dip in room sales, Matt Morrow, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, is excited about the hotel boom. “Building hotel capacity can bring about additional pressure needed to get those amenities,” he says. By amenities, Morrow means convention centers and athletic facilities. As Morrow explains, Springfield’s convention space is spread out around town. Morrow wants a full-size convention center attached to a high-end hotel. He would also like to see a new indoor athletic facility like the one in Cape Girardeau. A massive athletic facility could be a big draw for Springfield. This year, Springfield hosted the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships and the MSHSAA state basketball championships. More than 400 teams arrived in Springfield, and the city scrambled to find courts. “We had to round up 30 gym floors from Springfield Public Schools to Missouri State University,” Kimberlin says. “It’s a challenge that we don’t have an indoor sports facility that has more than four courts under one roof.” In comparison, Cape Girardeau’s facility has eight basketball courts and two soccer fields. The CVB commissioned a $70,000 study to evaluate the impact of developing a convention and events center near WOW and Bass Pro Shops. According to the study, a new center could create up to 800 new jobs over 10 years and bring in $1.1 billion over 20 years. “A convention center would create demand,” Kimberlin says. “But the whole idea is to create demand for more than hotels; you want to create demand for the whole city.” While talks with potential developers interested in a convention center are underway, the number of hotel rooms in Springfield keeps increasing. Kimberlin worries that supply and demand is already out of balance, but Morrow sees a lot of potential and some new opportunities on the horizon.

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The Year of the Millennial For anyone following the hotel industry, 2019 could be described as the year of the millennials. Chains big and small have launched brands to attract the millennial traveler. Marriott has Moxy, Best Western has Vib, and Hilton has Tru. Hilton first announced Tru in 2016. By May of 2018, Hilton reported 300-plus Tru hotels were in the pipeline. The first location opened in Oklahoma City, and now there are at least 50 Tru locations in the U.S. If construction moves as planned, Springfield will appear on that list this Labor Day. Bryan Properties is developing the four-story mid-level hotel, which will be the second Tru in Missouri. The other is in St. Charles. The Springfield addition will put Tru on the doorstep of Missouri State University. “It will be a great location for athletics and families visiting students,” says Brad Gebhard, COO/CFO of Bryan Properties. “We feel it will be a bridge between MSU and downtown.” The company had a south side site picked out for Tru, but after the company relocated its corporate office to Walnut Street, it decided to also change its plans for Tru. “We really have an interest in getting integrated in development in downtown Springfield,” Gebhard says. “We also felt the Tru brand was more suited for an urban setting.” To make room, Bryan Properties demolished six homes along Elm Street. That section of Elm is largely made up of rental homes, but a new student housing complex is set to open in fall. The Tru project is familiar territory for Bryan Properties, which owns and operates Hampton Inns in Branson—another Hilton brand. Tru doesn’t stray from Hilton’s economy price point, but it’s a departure from the brand’s aesthetic. “Technology is at the forefront of this offering,” Gebhard says, “It also has an emphasis on gathering places and community.” The lobby is much more of a focal point at Tru locations, where you can check in, get some work done, gather with friends or enjoy a meal. Wi-Fi is free, charging stations are basically everywhere, the 24/7 market is stocked with local snacks and even singleserve wine and beer, and the traditional breakfast bar has been upgraded with a wider BIZ417.COM

PHOTO COURTESY BRYAN PROPERTIES

Is the Market Truly Oversaturated?

517 East Elm St., Springfield, true3byhilton.com Opening Date: Fall 2019 Number of Capacity: 98 rooms Price Per Night: $100–120


 A TRU SNEAK PEAK Tru is a new concept by Hilton meant to attract millennial travelers.

The Ridge South Springfield, off of Campbell Avenue Opening Date: 2021

 PILINGS AND PROGRESS The Elm Street Tru Hotel is the second location in Missouri. It is projected to open this fall.

Dreaming Big

PHOTOS COURTESY BRYAN PROPERTIES, SAPP DESIGN ARCHITECTS

selection. The hope is that the less formal environment appeals to younger travelers, and Gebhard is optimistic about the future. “We averaged 64 percent occupancy in the market last year,” he says. “The growth of Springfield and especially downtown will continue to advance.” But even with the arrival of Wonders of Wildlife, which Gebhard says, “really moved the needle for Springfield,” there’s risk of oversaturating the hotel market. Gebhard says the key to avoiding overcrowding is to develop hotels in underserved pockets. “As long as we hit the mark on those pockets with low in-brand competition, we should be fine,” he says. “There are always plenty of hotel rooms in every market, and there are more in the pipeline every day.”

“We averaged 64 percent occupancy in the market last year. The growth of Springfield and especially downtown will continue to advance.” Brad Gebhard COO/CFO, Bryan Properties

What keeps Gebhard and Bryan Properties sanguine is the diversity of Springfield’s visitors. Unlike Branson visitors, which Gebhard describes as 100 percent tourism-driven, Springfield draws a mix of business travelers, athletes, families visiting college students and weekend fun-seekers. The hope is that millennials will be drawn to the price point and amenities Tru is offering. BIZ417.COM

Phil Williams and Trip Rhodes plan to add two hotels to Springfield’s south side—fingers crossed. These two developers are still in the planning stages of their $500 million development dubbed The Ridge, which will be located off of South Campbell Avenue. So far, the plans are ambitious, to say the least. They purchased 100 acres of undeveloped farmland and have since brainstormed blueprints for a high-end mixed-use space. If everything goes according to plan, that rolling farmland will eventually be turned into retail, office space, loft-style apartments, a continuum of care facility, bike paths and outdoor entertainment space, plus two hotels and a convention center. But before Williams and Rhodes—with RW Development— can start daydreaming about new hotel rooms and everything else they have planned at The Ridge, they have to first break ground on the property’s infrastructure. Public roads have to be put in place and water and sewer have to be run before anything else can go vertical. With that in mind, talk about a new hotel, let alone two, seems a little premature. In fact, Williams and Rhodes aren’t even sure if they’ll be the ones developing those two properties. What they do know is south Springfield could use a high-end, full-service hotel. “Everything is on the north side,” Williams says. He’s not entirely wrong. During Springfield’s growth spurt in the ’90s, most hotels were developed along north Glenstone Avenue near I-65. As residential neighborhoods and businesses crept south, hotels have been slow to follow. There’s the Holiday Inn Express, a Candlewood Suites, Residence Inn and a Hilton Garden Inn, but those nightly rates hover around $150. Williams and Trip would like to see a high-end hotel pop up at The Ridge to serve the business travelers and medical professionals who work on the south side. Attach a convention center to the operation and build a mid-level hotel nearby, and you’ve got their dream scenario. “I think this could be a symbiotic relationship,” Williams says. “The convention center would draw people in, and the two hotels could feed off of that.” The businesses could also feed off of the daily foot traffic RW Development hopes to see as a result of the mixed-use property. The idea is that all the businesses and events hosted at The Ridge will draw in outside visitors who can enjoy a more urban setting without having to head downtown. Restaurants, shops, bars, entertainment and lodging will all be housed at The Ridge. The two hotels and convention center are just one piece of this $500 million puzzle. May/June 2019

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Home2 Suites by Hilton 2756 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-864-6632, home2suites3.hilton.com Opening Date: December 2018 Capacity: 99 rooms

A WALK IN THE PARK Fido is as welcome as human faces at pet-friendly Home2 Suites.

Life on the North Side

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When Earl Steinert, president of EAS Investment Enterprises Inc., looks at occupancy reports for the first two months of 2019, he’s concerned. Steinert owns four hotels in Springfield, including three Hampton Inns and the newest Home2 Suites by Hilton. On average, Steinert’s occupancy was down 10 percent January and February of this year. “That is significant,” he says. “Especially when you have another [569] rooms coming.” Steinert, who worked as a CPA until 2005 when he made the move into the hotel business, doesn’t think the market is necessarily changing. He just thinks it’s getting much more competitive, and the customer’s focus is shifting from price to amenities. As younger guests and business travelers add Springfield to their itineraries, Steinert jokes that they now expect a lot more than a comfortable place to sleep. “You have to give them a bottle of water, a candy bar and a bag of peanuts when they come in,” he says. And if you operate a Home2 Suites by Hilton, you have to give them a friendly and welcoming environment where they can travel with their pets. The pet-friendly brand is one of Hilton’s new off-shoots that’s geared toward a younger crowd, but it’s also after the business market. The pet-friendly feature is a big draw, but Steinert says the extended stay offering also draws the business traveler in. Suites come with a full kitchen, so if your business has you booked in town for a lengthy period of time, your hotel room can feel a little more like home. Steinert’s Home2 Suites is located on North Glenstone Avenue right off I-65 and I-44, and he owns the Hampton Inn that sits in front of the Home2 Suites property. When he looks around at the hotels that line Glenstone Avenue, he mostly sees properties that are aging out of the system. “Oasis is 60 years old,” he says, “and DoubleTree is 40 years old.” What Springfield needs, according to Steinert, is a new upscale hotel. He argues that a higher price point property wouldn’t hurt the already oversaturated market and could help draw in more visitors. As the market grows, Steinert knows competition is going to become even more tense. He knows his occupancy rate was down at the start of 2018, and he knows the market is oversaturated, but he remains optimistic. BIZ417.COM


PULL UP A CHAIR Home2 Suites has amenities that encourage the social element of dining that younger generations might appreciate.

BY THE NUMBERS To get a better understanding of how much Springfield’s hotel industry has grown the last year and the impact the industry has on the city, we turned to the Springfield Missouri Convention & Visitors Bureau for a breakdown of the numbers. HOTEL ROOMS IN SPRINGFIELD AS OF FEBRUARY 2019: NEW HOTEL ROOMS ADDED FROM 2018 TO 2019:

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS; COURTESY GOT YOU LOOKING

NUMBER OF HOTEL ROOMS OCCUPIED IN 2018: NUMBER OF HOTEL ROOMS OCCUPIED IN 2017: HOTEL ROOMS OPENED, UNDER CONSTRUCTION OR PLANNED FROM JANUARY 1, 2019 TO EARLY 2021:  TUCKING IN The rooms are designed to be comfortable to feet and paws alike.

DECREASE IN AMOUNT GENERATED IN ROOM SALES: Comparing numbers from January 2018 to January 2019, room sales are down Sales were also down

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5,826 195 1,375,942 1,326,252 569

1.6% 5%

when you compare February 2018 to February 2019.

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When Best Western decided to open its third Vib hotel in Springfield, it was a bit of a surprise. Even Jackie Smylie, Best Western’s manager of boutique and upscale brands, was taken aback. “Best Western looked at all markets for its first Vib location in the United States,” she says. “But Gordon wanted to build one in Springfield, and we weren’t going to say no.” Gordon is Gordon Elliott, of Elliott Lodging, and he’s a longtime Best Western property developer. Elliott has 22 hotels in his portfolio, including the Coach House and the Rail Haven. Both properties fall under the Best Western umbrella. The Coach House opened 65 years ago, and the Rail Haven, which serves as a boutique hotel for the Route 66 fan base, is one of Best Western’s oldest hotels. Both are what Gordon calls roadside motels—economy lodging with parking right outside your room’s door. This style of property dominated the market back when Gordon first got into the hotel business in the ’90s. Many of Springfield’s visitors were in town to check out Route 66. Today, higher-end, full-service hotels are what’s hot. “People are traveling more, and there’s a big demand for business travel,” Gordon says. So when Best Western unveiled Vib—one if its new boutique brands geared toward a younger and more modern traveler, Gordon saw a chance to take a bite out of a growing market. There was just one catch: Best Western had only launched two other Vib locations. One was in Turkey, and the other was in Seoul, South Korea. If Gordon opened a Vib in Springfield, it would be Vib’s third location and its first in the United States. It was a big ask. Best Western was looking at markets including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, but Gordon pulled it off in part due to his pitch about Springfield’s growing crowd of young business owners. “That’s a growing segment of the audience we’re trying to reach,” he says. “I could see a new market,” and so could Best Western. The hotel chain opened the Springfield Vib, which is short for Vibrant, in August 2018. The two-story lobby, gaming stations, electronic tech shop, fireplace lounge and workstations are not your tradi-

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1845 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-881-9100, facebook.com/vibspringfield Opening Date: August 2018 Capacity: 92 rooms Price Per Night: $100–150

 A MODERN FACE Vib has a hip and modern exterior to capture the attention of passers-by.

“That’s a growing segment of the audience we’re trying to reach. I could see a new market.” Gordon Elliott President, CEO, Elliott Lodging

tional economy features, but the prices are still budget-friendly. Rooms have a smaller footprint and fewer amenities like microwaves, which are housed next to each floor’s ice machine. The other big change is the lobby itself, which Gordon and Smylie hope will serve as a gathering place for both locals and visitors. The addition of The Wheelhouse, with its selection of fast-casual cuisine, has been a big draw. “Seeing that partnership has really inspired us to look for other partnerships that could work out,” Smylie says. New Vib locations are already underway in Staten Island with additional properties planned for Orlando, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit, but Springfield, Missouri, and Gordon, can say they got to the market first. And those developers who are planning their own Vib locations often find themselves at the corner of Sunshine Street and Glenstone Avenue checking out the first Vib location in the United States. BIZ417.COM

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS; COURTESY BEST WESTERN® HOTEL & RESORTS, GORDON ELLIOTT

It’s Pronounced Vibe!

Vib Hotel


 RIGHT IN YOUR WHEELHOUSE The Vib lobby houses The Wheelhouse, serving Thai-Mexican fusion foods, plus a full bar and breakfast offerings.

 IT’S A VIBE The modern interiors and open space of the lobby were designed to appeal to a younger demographic.

RULES OF THE TRADE

PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER AKINS; COURTESY BEST WESTERN® HOTEL & RESORTS

As of January 28, Springfield City Council passed new regulations that restrict short-term rentals like Airbnb. We talked with City Planner Daniel Neal to learn more about how the new regulations will impact the market. Biz 417: When did city council start considering regulations? Daniel Neal: This process started about three years ago when we were receiving concerns and complaints from citizens noticing there were transient guests and people coming in and out of homes in their neighborhoods. The council weighed the character of the neighborhoods, and in the end the people immediately adjacent to the property owners. They should know what’s going on. Biz: What did you learn about the short-term rental industry in Springfield? DN: When we started researching this, we were in the ballpark of 30 BIZ417.COM

to 50 short-term rentals. As time went on, it kept multiplying to where we were in the hundreds. Biz: What were neighborhood residents worried about most? DN: They were worried about parking and overcrowding and the toll it could take on their services in the area. Biz: What’s the elevator-pitch version of the new regulations? DN: Council wanted three types of short-term rentals. Type 1 is an owner-occupied rental where the owner lives in the home but can rent it out while they’re away as long as they don’t rent it out for more than 95 days each year.

Type 2 rentals are not an owneroccupied residence and can be rented out the entire year. Type 3 is a short-term rental above a commercial building.

There is also a building inspection to address health or safety issues like proper access in and out of the house and ensure working smoke detectors are installed.

Biz: What worried the council? DN: The type 2 is the one the council really focused on because they saw the potential this could have on changing the character of a neighborhood if you had multiple short-term rentals all in one block. That could turn a single-family neighborhood into a kind of hotel.

Biz: What are the restrictions in terms of short-term rental density? DN: You can’t have more than two on a block face, which is one side of the street on a block. So you can have two on either side of the street, and this doesn’t apply to Type 1 short-term rentals. Type 3 units can have no more than two units.

Biz: What business requirements are attached to short-term rentals? DN: All three have to get a business license, but Type 2s have to hold a neighborhood meeting with property owners within 500 feet to let them know they’re operating a Type 2. Then 55 percent of adjacent property owners have to agree to let the short-term rental be there.

Biz: Which areas of Springfield have the highest density of short-term rentals in them? DN: The area around MSU is the highest density concentration, which is why we had that initial meeting with the Rountree and Phelps Grove neighborhoods to learn what kind of issues they would have with this regulation. May/June 2019

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Hotel Vandivort Expansion 305 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-832-1515, hotelvandivort.com Target Opening Date: Summer 2019 Capacity: 48 additional rooms Price Per Night: $150–400

ORDER UP Housed in Hotel Vandivort’s lobby, The Order serves upscale fare and cocktails.

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 ROOM TO GROW Construction for the Hotel V expansion is well underway.

PHOTOS BY STARBOARD & PORT, AMY RAY PHOTOGRAPHY

Welcome to V2 Let’s be honest. Springfield has a love-hate relationship with downtown. Locals older than 35 tend to hang out south of Sunshine Street, but visitors to the Queen City are drawn to the historic square—and they’re not alone. The city and its throng of young and ambitious entrepreneurs are unabashedly dedicated to reviving the downtown grid. New restaurants, bars and lofts have gobbled up once vacant storefronts. Today, few of downtown’s buildings stand empty. Two Queen City natives who have dedicated their efforts to rejuvenating the downtown drag are brothers John and Billy McQueary, co-owners of Hotel Vandivort. In 2015, the McQuearys made themselves part of downtown’s heartbeat when they opened Hotel Vandivort—a 50-unit boutique hotel. The project was risky. Parking was limited, the historic building was a landmine of construction pitfalls, and the anemic economy was barely beginning to drag itself out of the recession. But for John and Billy, everything relating to Hotel Vandivort was full steam ahead. “The goal of this hotel was to be an economic and cultural spark for downtown,” John says. “A big part of the concept was to give an authentic sense of the city, and the only way to do that is to do it downtown.” The way John sees it, Springfield’s history, culture and identity stem from its downtown roots. “In my mind, there was nowhere else to be, even if this was considered a higher risk,” he says. When Hotel Vandivort opened on July 13, 2015, the polished, art-forward hotel quickly became the bedrock of downtown. Hotel Vandivort became Springfield’s first hotel to earn the Four Diamond Rating by AAA and was named the 2016 Boutique Hotel of the Year by the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association. Locals and visitors agreed—Hotel Vandivort was a hit. Within nine months of opening, the hotel’s management company was pestering the McQuearys about expanding, but John and Billy needed a break. “We were still recovering emotionally from getting that first building open,” John says. When the brothers talked about expanding, they figured they would explore the option five years after opening. They never imagined they would need to expand so quickly. “Of course we’re targeting people visiting Springfield,” John says. “But just as much, we were trying to target our local market.” The McQuearys wanted Hotel Vandivort to be a place where Springfieldians could get a drink, enjoy dinner, gather with friends and, as John explains, “be in the space and a piece of making it a true taste of our city for people who travel so they get to experience local food, local art and local people.” BIZ417.COM

In January 2018, John and Billy announced Hotel Vandivort was expanding, and construction of a four-story, 48-room extension of the hotel began in the parking lot behind Vandivort. Unlike Phase 1, which is better known by the McQuearys as Historic Vandivort, V2, as it’s called, has been a much smoother project. The 42,000-square-foot building will be just a few steps away from Vandivort’s back door. And while the two buildings will not physically connect, Historic Vandivort and V2 have been designed to “interact with each other.” Guest rooms will be similar in style, though a little less industrial and a little more glamorous, and a fifth-story rooftop bar, Vantage, will offer a view of downtown.

 TOP SHELF The hotel has various event spaces, including the 850-square-foot, cuttingedge Cornerstone Room.

“A big part of the concept was to give an authentic sense of the city, and the only way to do that is to do it downtown.” John McQueary Co-owner, Hotel Vandivort

V2 isn’t the only hotel project springing up in downtown. The market is becoming increasingly competitive, which is something John finds exciting. “We see those as victories for Hotel Vandivort,” he says. “It gives us a feeling that we had some small part in being a cultural and economic spark. To see a major brand like the Hilton going in kitty-corner from us, that’s fantastic. That’s just more momentum for downtown,” And that, as the McQuearys have always said, “is great.” May/June 2019

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Living on the Edge

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Moxy Hotels

430 South Ave., Springfield, moxy-hotels.marriott.com

Opening Date: Early summer 2020 Capacity: 98 rooms Price Per Night: $100–120

Road Trip!  THE GLITZ TO COME The Moxy Hotel aims to make a splash when it arrives in 2020. The above rendering is a glimpse of what is to come.

O’Reilly Hospitality is venturing outside of 417-land with a host of new property developments in the works. Here’s the breakdown. CAMBRIA HOTEL:

Omaha, Nebraska EMBASSY SUITES AND

Some of the rooms will be set up for groups that care more RED WOLF CONVENTION CENTER: about the day’s itinerary and less about booking a king-size bed. on Arkansas State University in “People aren’t just looking for a hotel to get a good night’s sleep,” Jonesboro, Arkansas O’Reilly says. “They want to mingle and have a bar with craft CAMBRIA HOTEL: cocktails and a lively situation.” To accommodate the budgets Louisville, Kentucky of the younger traveler, many of the rooms at Moxy will feature bunk beds. Instead of being side-by-side—Brady Bunch style— FAIRFIELD INN AND SUITES: queen beds will face each other to make the most of the room’s Johannesburg, Florida limited footprint. CAMBRIA HOTEL: But the Moxy isn’t O’Reilly Hospitality’s only project geared Sarasota, Florida toward a younger audience. It opened the Barley House event venue at Moon Town Crossing in April. The modern-rustic barn is next to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites located at 3060 N. Kentwood Ave. in Springfield. And the company is already at work developing Big Shots—an outdoor driving range similar to the popular Top Golf. That project is scheduled to open in the summer of 2020. While an events venue and driving range might seem worlds apart, they align with O’Reilly Hospitality’s game plan: Develop entertainment and event spaces that draw visitors to Springfield who then stay in area hotels. If you can increase the audience and the demand, like Wonders of Wildlife has, then the market’s growing supply of hotel rooms might seem a little less concerning for developers like O’Reilly. BIZ417.COM

PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS; COURTESY BUXTON KUBIK DODD DESIGN COLLECTIVE

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into the new Moxy Hotel, which is slated to open in downtown Springfield in the summer of 2020, is the lack of a traditional check-in. Need to get your room key? See the bartender. “This project will speak to future generations,” says Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Hospitality. “This is more entertainment-focused.” Thatʼs an understatement. Moxy—one of Marriott’s new boutique hotel brands—is a splashy, party-themed economy hotel geared toward young travelers and adventurers looking to have, as O’Reilly calls it, “an entertaining experience.” The hotel’s website is a mix of black and hot pink with images scrolling by showing hotel guests reveling in the nightlife. The tagline here is “Play On.” Wi-Fi is free. The coffee is fresh, and craft cocktails are waiting. The boutique concept is a relatively new one for Marriott. Moxy Hotels debuted in 2014 with the first location opening in Milan. Since then, Moxy Hotels have popped up in major cities including New York City, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Seattle and Denver. When O’Reilly pitched the idea to open Moxy’s third Midwest location in Springfield, he had some convincing to do. “We had a lot of conversation,” he says. “This is pretty different from their normal strategy where they focus on big urban markets.” To prove to the Marriott team that the Queen City was ideal for something edgy like Moxy Hotels, O’Reilly invited them to tour the historic building he planned to renovate. It worked. “When they visited downtown and saw the building and the historical significance, they became big fans of the project,” he says. Eventually, Marriott issued the Moxy franchise for the project. O’Reilly Hospitality bought the eight-story brick building three years ago, and, at press time, construction was still in the planning and design phase as developers wrestled with what O’Reilly calls “historic issues.” It was the building’s historic character and charm that won O’Reilly over. It was the travertine tile walls and floors, historical fixtures, crown molding and the potential for a rooftop bar that sparked his imagination. “There’s no way to recreate that historic nature of the building,” he says. Sticking with Moxy’s mantra of Play On, the Springfield location will have three food and beverage areas: one in the lobby, one on the roof and a speakeasy that doubles as a meeting and event space in the basement where guests will be able to see the building’s coal stains on the walls.


BY JULIANA GOODWIN | PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS

PHOTO BY TK PHOTGRAPHER

More than ever before, businesses rely on technological advancements, and this community continues to deliver. For the third year, Biz 417 has partnered with AITP of the Ozarks to spotlight the innovators who are transforming the technology landscape in southwest Missouri. Our independent panel of judges reviews and scores all nominees based on the following criteria: overall accomplishments, the relevance of accomplishments to the technology sector, their scope of impact and involvement in the greater IT industry and community. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on February 28. These three corporate winners and three individuals wowed the judges. Here are this year’s six Excellence In Technology winners.

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From left: Adam and Sarah Howey, Kari and John Hamra with Logan Aguirre.

Sarah Howey MOST INNOVATIVE STARTUP Founder, SelectSitter

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electSitter, a Springfield-based app, is taking the angst out of hiring a babysitter in 417-land. Launched in November 2017, the handy technology was invented to help parents find babysitters they can trust by allowing users to find and share childcare recommendations in their own social media network. The invention is the brainchild of mom Sarah Howey, who wondered how she’d find a new babysitter when hers moved away. Howey and her husband, Adam, partnered with their friends Kari and John Hamra to launch SelectSitter, which already has nearly 1,000 users. Parents can see which sitters their friends are booking and endorsing as well as see a sitter’s availability and set their own price when submitting a job request. It’s free to download and use, and the owners are adding an in-app payment feature so parents don’t have to worry about carrying cash; they can pay their sitter through the app. “Parents who use it, love it,” Sarah says. “We get suggestions for additional features, which we hope we will be able to add, but we will not do that until in-app payment takes off.” Based on feedback from users, Howey is working on adding an icon inside the app to indicate if babysitters are pet sitters, too. Stay tuned for more possibilities.

Runners Up // Easy Access Hunts • FiTbyPhase, LLC

Jordan McAdoo RISING STAR Stitch Fix

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f ever there were a rising star, it’s Jordan McAdoo. This self-taught programmer works remotely for Stitch Fix, a multibillion-dollar corporation in Silicon Valley, but five years ago she was a bartender. When a friend told her there was a help desk job open at American National Insurance, McAdoo applied. Not a fan of answering phones, she moved to quality assurance, which was her introduction to software development. Soon, this Springfield native was ordering books, diving into online tutorials and teaching herself how to code. Two years later, she was a programmer. If that wasn’t impressive enough, when McAdoo found herself a minority in the profession, she decided to shepherd women interested in tech through a variety of initiatives. In 2016, she launched Springfield Women in Tech, a local group focused on women in technology. She started with 15 members and now has 200. Aligning with this effort, McAdoo became a Google Women Techmakers Ambassador, which has taught her how to build up the local female tech community and support them in the industry. McAdoo then started a Google Developer Group to help individuals in the community better understand new and innovative technologies. In both of these roles, Google helps support local events McAdoo also serves on the board of The Geek Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to support people interested in technology. The foundation instituted the Girls Who Code program at local Boys and Girls Clubs. “I really love what I do, so just sharing knowledge and talking about it is fun,” McAdoo says. “That is part of the reason I have been especially passionate about hosting events and trying to get more women into tech because I didn’t know anything about it. I wish I had sooner. Maybe I would have gotten a degree in it. Coding isn’t promoted as much to women and girls as it is to men. I think [women] shouldn’t be limited.” Runners Up // Zach O'Connor, Prime, Inc. • Levi Zitting, Mostly Serious BIZ417.COM

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Jordan Morgan DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR iOS Software Engineer, Buffer

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ordan Morgan wandered aimlessly through his first years of Ozarks Technical Community College trying to discover his passion. Morgan went to school for four years without a major. “I had all these classes and met a career counselor, and they recommended programming,” he says. Morgan enjoyed video games but wasn’t a math wizard, so he almost didn’t explore programming because he assumed his math skills weren’t strong enough. He ordered his first book and was nervous as he flipped through, but something clicked inside him, and Morgan breezed through the next two years. In 2013, he landed his first full-time tech job. The following year, Morgan launched his own tech blog from his home in Ozark, focusing on iOS applications. “It’s been one of my greatest assets of my career,” he says. “To this day there is not a huge iOS developer community in southwest Missouri. I am extraverted, so I wanted to be a part of the community. I started it to write about things I knew, was learning, problems I was solving. I love iOS and I started writing to scratch that itch.” One day, Chris Lattner, then an Apple software developer who created the programming language called Swift, discovered the blog and Tweeted it out. Overnight, Morgan went from having a few readers to being recognized nationwide. The blog, swiftjectivec.com, helped him land a job at Buffer, which is highly competitive. “When I go to conferences, people will be like, ‘You write that blog,’” Morgan says. “It has opened a lot of doors for me.”

“I started to write about things I knew, was learning, problems I was solving... I started writing to scratch that itch.” —Jordan Morgan, iOS Software Engineer Runners Up // Chris Bailey, City Utilities • Austin Cummins, Added Innovation Guests celebrate the six winners over drinks, dinner and an award show at The Old Glass Place on February 28.

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Six honorees, including Nick Lofaro, were awarded the third annual Excellence in Technology Awards.

Nick Lofaro IT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Guaranty Bank

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hese days, banking technology is translating into improved convenience and service for customers and employees, and Nick Lofaro is leading that charge at Guaranty Bank. Lofaro, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Guaranty Bank, joined the company in 2014. Since then, he’s helped implement a variety of technologies and products, such as the Video Banking Machine (VBM). “It’s a method for us to provide better service and added convenience to our customers,” Lofaro says. “Customers can drive up to select branches for a very similar experience to that of a lobby or drive-up. The customer also has the ability to use the VBM as an ATM if they choose. Should they choose the option of a live teller during service hours, they are able to perform a variety of transactions such as cash a check, make a deposit, etc. Almost anything you can do on the teller line can be done from the comfort of your car.” Customers are no longer limited to lobby or drive-up hours. The first VBM was launched at the Battlefield Banking Center in 2017. “We have six on the ground with plans to expand that footprint in the near future,” Lofaro says. Aside from his work at Guaranty, Lofaro is also an active participant on the Association of Information Technology Profession Board and serves at the national level as a member of the CompTia Executive Council for AITP. These positions help him understand where the bank currently stands in the industry and what’s coming down the pipeline. Runners Up // Shannon McMurtrey, Cart32 • Mark Whisler, Added Innovation

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From left: Paige Oxendine, Rachel Anderson, Chrystal Irons, Tara Horton, and Lance Coffman with Logan Aguirre.

efactory COMMUNITY IMPACT

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ince it launched in 2013, the efactory has been a leader in innovation. This technology-focused entrepreneurship center serves as a resource hub to assist startups and small businesses and offers continuing education and training to established ventures. It has helped foster Springfield’s tech and business community. From the start, its business incubator program was key and has assisted more than 50 companies who have received free business consulting, office space and access to a mentor network, among other resources. The success of incubators has translated into more jobs and has advanced Springfield as a state leader in the innovation space, says efactory Director Rachel Anderson. Another program that has been a tremendous asset to the community is the accelerator program. It assists early stage companies through mentorship, programming and a $30,000 investment over the course of a rigorous 12-week program. Since its inception in 2016, 12 companies have completed the accelerator program. But that is just the beginning. The efactory is home to a spectrum of technology user groups and annual events such as SPIN66 Innovation Summit, Hack4Good and Startup Weekend. It was the birthplace of Rosie, which was founded by Anderson and Paige Oxendine. Rosie is an advocacy network for female founders, business owners and leaders. Through a variety of events, networking opportunities and professional development resources, more than 1,000 women have connected through Rosie. The efactory was also one of the first to of-

fer co-working space, a great asset to a small business, and every Friday, businesses can drop in and use the space for free.

“We had some of the larger employers coming to us saying, ‘We are having some of the same challenges in our organization. We are not a startup, but what can you do to help?’”—Rachel Anderson, efactory director Anderson is constantly listening to the business community and tweaking the services based on feedback. One example was the creation of the Springfield Entrepreneurial and Innovation Network. “We had some of the larger employers coming to us saying, ‘We are having some of the same challenges in our organization,’” Anderson says. “‘We are not a startup, but what can you do to help?’” The efactory partnered with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and created the group of innovation champions who meet regularly to share best practices with Springfield’s top employers. Partnerships are a cornerstone of the efactory, which is a program of Missouri State University in the division of Research and Economic Development. The facility is home to the Small Business and Technology Development Center and the Management Development Institute, and the shared services model allows members to access these resources free of charge. This synergy has helped make Springfield a leader in innovation.

Runners Up // The Geek Foundation • Jordan Valley Innovation Center

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Eric Wubbena with Paperwise celebrates with Logan Aguirre during the award ceremony.

Paperwise ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY

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id- to large-sized businesses in 417-land have the chance to see dramatic improvements in productivity thanks to the team at Paperwise. Paperwise has developed a custom software solution, RHOOSTER, that helps fill in the gaps of other management systems. Each client can tailor RHOOSTER to their specific business needs, says Eric Wubbena, Vice President of Business Development at Paperwise. Once a designer works with a client, they build out two different mock applications that allow the client to see what they’re purchasing before the team at Paperwise writes a line of code. The solution is also timely; it takes weeks, not years to build out their solution. Although it has not officially launched, RHOOSTER has already been used locally. One of the technology’s success stories is with CoxHealth, the largest employer in the region. CoxHealth uses Lawson, an international company that provides HR functionality. “One of the things it lacks is a change request for employee status,” Wubbena says. “Cox being [one of the] largest employer[s] in this town, they have lots of changes in employment status, new hires, new jobs internally, terminations.” It was an arduous process to terminate an employee because all the departments involved—the parking garage, payroll, HR benefits and security—had to deactivate their badge, Wubbena says. Working with Lawson and Cox, Paperwise created an application to help automate the termination process, which has increased HR productivity. “That was a major success,” Wubbena says. “They are utilizing our application.” RHOOSTER is still in early stages and is geared toward medium to large businesses, but the goal is to make it accessible to small businesses in the future. Runners Up // Added Innovation • EmergencMe BIZ417.COM

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BIG VISION BIG HEART Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery has been in Springfield since 1983, but under the leadership of Jason Parke, the business has grown to a full service printing and embroidery company through acquisition. With its new capacity, the company partners with churches and nonprofits to raise money by selling shirts. BY JULIANA GOODWIN

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PHOTO BY PHOTOS COURTESY TK PHOTGRAPHER GREEK CORNER SCREEN PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY

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n 2007, Jason Parke was working for a title company when he decided to buy a starter screen printing kit and pursue a side gig by night. An MSU graduate with a business major and art minor, Parke took a variety of graphic design courses in college so screen printing was up his alley. “My grandparents owned an industrial uniform business for 40 years,” Parke says. “I always knew I wanted to own my own business, I just didn’t know what it was.” Soon the decision would be made for him. When the housing market collapsed in 2008, Parke was laid off. “Two weeks before they let me go we found out we were expecting our first child, which was really awesome,” Parke says. “[Getting laid off ] forced me to do it.” He launched his own venture but being so small had to outsource jobs. Parke quickly decided he wanted to buy an existing business with a recognizable name. It so happened that Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery was for sale. Greek Corner Screen Printing was founded in 1983 by Steve Bean. Located across from MSU, it built a reputation of creating shirts for fraternities and sororities.

Greek Corner keeps a stock of screen printing ink on hand to fulfill various types of orders for different textile needs.

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"My grandparents owned an industrial uniform business for 40 years. I always knew I wanted to own my own business, I just didn’t know what it was." —Jason Parke, owner, Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery

PHOTO TK PHOTGRAPHER PHOTOSBY COURTESY GREEK CORNER SCREEN PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY

In 2005, it was purchased by Karla Lampe, who later wanted to sell. On January 1, 2009, Parke became owner, inheriting two employees who are still with him today. Acquisition became key to the growth of the company. In 2014, Parke bought Integrity Design. “It had in-house embroidery,” Parke says. “It gives us control over production. You are not dependent on a contractor getting it done for you. We can do what we want, when we want it.” In 2018, Greek Corner acquired Springfield competitor Bigfish Screenprinting LLC and its list of 1,800 clients. Bigfish was known for its philanthropic efforts around town, and Greek Corner has donated to many local causes, so Parke felt the company morals were aligned, and the acquisition would give his company a larger market share. Today, Greek Corner has 20 employees. Although the company continues to expand, it has seen its share

of rough years. Parke’s optimism lies in his niche. Greek Corner is the official screen printer and embroiderer for MSU athletics, one of the company’s largest clients. Greek Corner has done extensive work with the Springfield Cardinals and Bass Pro Shops Fitness Series, and has printed 25,000 shirts for Walmart’s annual shareholders conference. Working with churches and nonprofits is a significant portion of the business. Meeting deadlines is a pillar of Parke’s outfit, and he’s focused on customer service because most of his customers come from referrals or are repeat business. At the company Christmas lunch last year, he reminded employees that even when it gets stressful, when there’s a rush job, they should focus on customer service. “What I want to remember is there is a human being wearing this shirt, and we want it to be the best shirt possible so they have the best experience in it,” Parke says. “None of us really needs another T-shirt; most shirts are bought as an emotional experience, a mission trip, a baseball game, it’s an emotional experience.”

GROWING When Parke bought the business, it was on the verge of closing. He kept a handful of customers but had to basically start from the ground up. Most of the equipment was old and had been damaged in a 2007 flood, so much of the printing was done in Nixa. It wasn’t efficient. He moved the business from the corner of Grand Street and National Avenue to Chestnut Expressway. The silk screen printing machine enables Greek Corner produce shirts quickly and efficiently. BIZ417.COM

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—Jason Parke, owner, Greek Corner Screen Printing and Embroidery

Parke upgraded to state-of-the-art equipment, an automated screen printing press, and the best software for special art effects. Having the right equipment is key to delivering the right product. The new location and equipment worked for about five years and then the business outgrew the space, and moved 500 feet away to a larger location where it stayed for four years. After the Bigfish acquisition, it was time to move again to accommodate the growth of the company. Last summer, Parke purchased a 23,000-square-foot building that used to house Ozarks Technical Community College’s workforce development program. As the business grows, Parke's uses his

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father Brad, who is also general manager of the company, for advice and wisdom. His father worked with Parke's grandfather for 20 years and now helps his son through the company's growing pains. As the company expands, its method of income changes but currently, embroidery accounts for 15 percent of the business; screen printing is 80 percent; and the rest is promotional products, such as golf balls.

A HELPING HAND The primary way Greek Corner gives back is through MoneyTees, which are fundraising T-shirts for churches, mission trips, nonprofits, etc. Customers pick their design and shirt style, and Greek Corner sets up an online store to help them sell. For example, Greek

Piles of shirts wait on the shop floor before getting printed and boxed for shipment to clients.

Corner might provides shirts for $5 each but then sells them on the website for $15. At the end of the fundraiser, Parke sends a check to the customer with the proceeds. Currently, Greek Corner maintains 60 MoneyTees websites. Through MoneyTees, Greek Corner has worked with various nonprofits, including Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks and Relay for Life, to help raise money. “I’ve been very blessed throughout my life, and it’s a way to give back in different ways,” Parke says. “There are lots of people who have it a lot harder than I do. I can’t fix stuff, I am not all that smart, but if there is a way to help, I want to help.” Greek Corner also uses Allmade Apparel to give back, which are environmentally friendly shirts that help support families in Haiti. Haiti has a high orphan rate, and many parents struggle to support their families. The average worker in a Haitian garment factory is paid $5.11 a day, but Allmade pays its workers three times that figure, with additional incentives to earn up to five times the minimum wage. Through BIZ417.COM

PHOTOS COURTESY GREEK CORNER SCREEN PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY

“None of us really need another T-shirt; most shirts are bought as an emotional experience, a mission trip, a baseball game, it’s an emotional experience.”


these increased wages, Allmade’s goal is to support local families while simultaneously addressing the high number of orphans. Parke was introduced to the shirts by one of his vendors, and took a trip to Haiti to visit the factory where the shirts were made. It was a profound experience, and he makes an effort to promote the product whenever he can. The shirts are also environmentally friendly. Allmade shirts are made with recycled polyester, which comes from recycled water bottles. Every tri-blend shirt contains the equivalent of six plastic water bottles. Allmade uses organic, non-GMO cotton grown in the United States, and it uses TENCEL™ Modal, which is made from sustainably harvested beech trees in PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) certified European forests. The shirts cost about $5 more than a regular garment, so it’s not for everyone, but Parke would love to see the brand take off.

LESSONS LEARNED Parke has learned a lot from his first days on the job and continues to glean new knowledge. The first thing he’d tell any entrepreneur is to expect the unexpected and have enough cash flow to cover the unexpected. “Make sure you have a great relationship with your bank, accountant and attorney. I’ve got all three of those,” he says. The company acquired Bigfish with growth in mind but immediately ran into problems and extra

Allmade Apparel and Greek Corner travel to Haiti to work with a local orphanage to provide work and income for residents.

Jason Parke's father isn't the only family member participating in the business. His daughter, Reagan, learns to do a print at the Greek Corner Open House.

expenses. Parke was paying rent and a mortgage on three locations until he was able to lease the other two buildings and move into the new facility. Although it wasn’t the first acquisition, it was the largest and presented more challenges. He had to build customer relationships with 1,800 potential clients and keep his regular clients happy, too. There was staff training and turnover. The additional workload was more than expected. “Whatever due diligence you are doing, double it, do your homework, do your research,” Parke says. “The other two businesses were such a small scale if something did not go exactly right, it was okay, but this

was on such a larger scale, if something went wrong, it could get out of hand fairly quickly.” Life is back to normal now. Parke has sold most of the old equipment, bought new equipment and is looking at purchasing even more equipment to make life easier on his staff. Parke’s last piece of advice for any entrepreneur is don’t enter lightly into a business venture. “However hard you think it’s going to be, double it,” Parke says. “Make sure you are surrounded by a great team, which we’ve got. This is my tenth year in the business, and we have the best group of people we have ever had.”

By the numbers PHOTOS COURTESY GREEK CORNER SCREEN PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY

Giving back is important to Jason Parke. His business partners with churches, nonprofits and mission trips and sells MoneyTees, which benefit nonprofits.

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MoneyTees sites

Total Donations

$59,000 40

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[WORKSPACE]

and Streamlining Wilhoit Properties, Zimmerman Properties and Zimmerman Properties Construction needed one location with the ability to house all three companies and streamline processes. The result is a 32,000-square-foot, three-story masterpiece. BY JENNA DEJONG

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When clients and staff first walk through the door, they are welcomed by a large, modern desk. The color scheme used throughout the building reflects each company’s colors, and Zimmerman Properties Construction's black and red theme is reflected in the reception area.

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When getting down to the project planning, creating open space was high on the list. “Our main focus was to create a feeling of openness so we have lots of windows,” says Pam Gertz, office manager. “We have partitions in the open office area, we have glass walls and doors that separate the private offices from the open office area."

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On the main level of the building is a multipurpose conference room with rounded black lampshades. The room is available to all departments, seats up to 10 employees and even has blackout shades on the windows to block out natural light during presentations.

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Now that all three companies are under one roof, Gertz says workflow and processes are much more efficient. “We were in a shopping center [before] so our workflow was very linear,” Gertz says. “We took up a lot of real estate, and our workflow was not as efficient because of how we were spread out in that shopping center because we weren’t in suites side-by-side.”

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The 32,000-square-foot building was built completely new to suit the needs of each company. The 16-month project was finished in July 2018, just in time for employees to soak up the sun or take a sunny lunch break on the large shaded patio, which is attached to the side of the building.

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At the top of the lobby stairs is a map of the United States that illustrates the company’s reach. The map is expandable as the company extends into new states. This level is where the partners' offices are located, as well as the upper level property management team and the human resources department.

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PHOTOS BY BRANDON ALMS

Consolidating


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"I choose not to give likability oxygen. If you think you have to be and act a certain way, you are selling yourself short. It all goes back to emotional intelligence. We are women and do things differently. Embrace this." —Julie Swift, Vice President for Waypoint. SEE P. 78

PHOTO BY BRAD ZWEERINK

EVERYWHERE YOU NEED TO BE

Our five Women Who Mean Business shared their journey to success during a sold-out B-School Breakfast Series.

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72 NETWORK 74 LEARN

76 ATHENA Award Luncheon 77 Good Morning, Springfield!

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78 B-School Breakfast Series 79 SWMO Excellence Awards

80 Downtime

May/June 2019

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Morning Event NETWORK

 8:30–10 a.m., Wednesdays 1 MILLION CUPS

Local entrepreneurs are energizing the community. Keep your finger on the pulse of their sprouting businesses and innovative ideas at this weekly presentation program. No reservation is required. Free; Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E. Brookside Dr., Springfield; for more information visit 1millioncups.com/ springfield.  7 – 8 a.m.; Friday, May 3 and June 7

FIRST FRIDAY COFFEE

The Ozark Chamber of Commerce hosts a monthly meet-and-greet. Mix with business professionals, and snack on some refreshments on your way out. Free; location varies; visit ozarkchamber.com for more information.  7:30 – 8:30 a.m.; Friday, May 3 and June 7

JACC MORNING BREW

Head west and do a little earlymorning networking with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce over coffee. Each month highlights a different business and provides an opportunity to make new contacts. Free; location varies; for more information visit joplincc.com.

SPONSORED EVENT

2019 SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS

Be the first to know the winner of the 27th annual W. Curtis Small Business Award. Guests have the chance to network and listen to featured guest speaker Jeff Mazur, director of LaunchCode, a St. Louis-based

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skilled workforce nonprofit. When: 11:30 a.m.– 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 Where: Oasis Hotel & Convention Center, 2546 N. Glenstone, Springfield Cost: $35 for members, $45 for non–members More information: For more information call 417-862-5567 or visit springfieldchamber.com.  7:30 – 9 a.m., Thursday, May 9 and June 6

GOOD MORNING, SPRINGFIELD!

Knock out some networking before the day really begins at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast event. Hear the latest news from Springfield Public Schools, as well as the city, county and chamber. $25 for members, $30 for non-members; location varies; call 417-862-5567 or visit springfieldchamber.com for tickets and more information.  4 –6 p.m., Monday, May 13 IGNITE BRANSON HAPPY HOUR

Head south and build connections with your fellow Branson professionals over drinks and food. Free; LandShark Bar & Grill, 915 Branson Landing Blvd., Branson; email esutliff@bransonchamber.com or visit members.bransonchamber. com for more information.

Lunch Event

information visit joplincc.com.  7:30 –9 a.m., Tuesday, May 14 and June 4

XMIN BREAKFAST

This Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce event is catered toward businessmen looking to build long-term relationships with business owners in a variety of industries and fields. Join the XMIN for breakfast, networking and a roundtable discussion. $12–15 for members, $20 for non-members; Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce, 106 W. Sherman Way, Suite 6, Nixa; call 417-725-1545 or visit business. nixachamber.com.  7 – 8:30 a.m., Thursday, May 16

GOOD MORNING, BRANSON!

Join the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce’s networking and professional development organization for a morning of socializing. This month's event also features an update from Branson's Christmas Coalition about the end-of-the-year holiday season. Fee includes a full breakfast. $15 per person; Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Attraction, 1525 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson; for tickets and more information visit bransonchamber.com or call 417-334-4084.  4:30–6:30 p.m., Thursday,

 5:30–7 p.m., Tuesday, May

May 16 and June 13

14 and June 18

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

Mix and mingle with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce at this monthly happy hour and networking event. Stop by Class Rock Coffee in May and Volt Credit Union in June.

Network with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce for an afternoon meet-and-greet for business professionals throughout 417-land. Free; location varies; for more

All Day

Evening Event

$5 per person; location varies; call 417-862-5567 or visit springfieldchamber.com for more information.  5:30 p.m.–7 p.m., Tuesday, May 21 and June 18

TAKE IT EASY TUESDAY

The Ozark Chamber of Commerce invites the local business community to Take It Easy at this laid-back networking event held every month. Mix and mingle and enjoy the company of other business professionals. Free; location varies; visit ozarkchamber.com for more information.  11:30 a.m.– 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 21 and June 18

WWIN MONTHLY LUNCHEON

Business advice often means most from someone who has been in your shoes. Meet other business women at this monthly event by the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce featuring networking and guest speakers. $12-15 for members, $20 for nonmembers; Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce, 106 W. Sherman Way, Suite 6, Nixa; call 417–725–1545 or visit business. nixachamber.com for more information.  11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Thursday, May 23 and June 27

GOOD AFTERNOON, OZARK

Receive updates and listen to a guest speaker with the Ozark Chamber of Commerce. $12-17 for members, $20 for non-members; Ozark Community Center, 1530 W. Jackson St., Ozark; for more information and to register visit ozarkchamber.com (continued on p. 74) BIZ417.COM


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73


 11 a.m.– 1 p.m., Tuesday, June 11 NIXA CHAMBER LUNCHEON

Join the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce for brunch and listen to speakers talk about topics related to the area. $12-15 for members, $20 for non-members; The Bridge, 308 W. Mt. Vernon, Nixa; call 417-725–1545 or visit business. nixachamber.com/events for more information.  4–6 p.m., Thursday, June 20 BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

Enjoy casual networking with the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce after your workday to expand your contacts, client base and partners in the region. $10 for members, $15 at the door; Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, 4100 Gretna Road, Branson; email esutliff@bransonchamber.com or visit members.bransonchamber. com for more information. LEARN

 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.,

Thursday, May 2

2019 WORKFORCE EVENT SERIES: EMERGING WORKFORCE

Learn how to appeal to potential job candidates and students graduating from college. Our very own Logan Aguirre, along with Julie Cummings from BKD, Scot Scobee with SRC and local college students, speak on a panel about how to create appealing job descriptions and how to appeal to a new and changing workforce. $15 for members and nonmembers; Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 202 S.

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May/June 2019

John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield; for more information visit springfieldchamber.com.  9 a.m.–4 p.m., May 2-3 SUCCESSFUL PROJECT MANAGEMENT (TWO–DAY COURSE)

Get a well-rounded understanding of management at this two-day course. Participants will learn how to manage multiple projects, and balance budgets, priorities and timelines. $479; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; for more information call 417-837-2615 or visit mdi.missouristate.edu.  6– 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 6

BANKING TECHNOLOGY

Missey Hayward with BancorpSouth will discuss all aspect of managing your finances online without the stress and hassle. Free; Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, Missouri, 2410 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield; call 417-829-4001 or visit habitatspringfieldmo.org for more information.  11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 7 and June 4

MONTHLY SPEAKER SERIES & LUNCHEON

The Association for Women in Communications brings in speakers to talk about a special topic. In May, learn about the gender differences in the way people lead and in June, learn how to shoot and produce a video with your smartphone. $16-18 for members, $10-12 for first-time guests, $25-28 for nonmembers, $10-12 for students; 425 Downtown Events & Catering, 425 W. Walnut St., Springfield; visit womcom.org to register and for more information.

 4– 5 p.m., Tuesday, May 7 INSTAGRAM FOR BUSINESS

Listen and learn as Ettie Berneking covers everything you need to know about starting and growing your business on Instagram. Free for members and partners of efactory ,$10 general admission; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; call 417-837–2600 or visit efactory.missouristate.edu for more information.  9 a.m.–4 p.m., Wednesday, May 8

CREATING A CUSTOMER SERVICE CULTURE

No matter what kind of organization you run, customer service is extremely important. Lean key information that will help you learn about your customer base and how to build your communication. $239; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; for more information, call 417-837–2615 or visit mdi.missouristate.edu.  9 a.m.–4 p.m., Thursday, May 9

FOR WOMEN: BECOMING A POWERFUL FORCE IN TODAY’S WORKPLACE

Female leaders, are you a current or upcoming leader in your organization or want to make an impact? This event is for you. Come grow your leadership skills and learn how to increase the influence you have in the workplace. $239; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; visit efactory. missouristate.edu for more information.  5:30– 8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9

BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

SBDC is hosting ‘Building Your Business Plan’ to discuss approaches to business plans and how to develop them. They will touch on subjects including: business success factors, target market identification, and more. $79; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; call 417-837– 2617 or visit sbtdc.missouristate. edu for more information.  7:30 a.m.–3 p.m., Friday, May 10

LEADERCAST 2019

Experts in organizational health come to help participants develop and lead healthy teams. Enjoy breakfast and lunch while you are there. $70 per person; Gateway Branson, 310 Gretna Road, Branson; for more information email esutliff@bransonchamber. com or visit members. bransonchamber.com.  11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.,

Wednesday, May 15 and June 12

60 MINUTES TO SUCCESS BUSINESS WORKSHOPS

Stay successful at this Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce event designed to help you tackle the biggest challenges facing small business owners. $15 for members, $25 for non-members; Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield; call 417-862-5567 or visit springfieldchamber.com for tickets and more information.  3:30– 5 p.m., Wednesday May 9

PITCH CONTEST

Watch founders and entrepreneurs pitch their best ideas for a shot at a $5,000 cash prize. The event is hosted by the efactory. BIZ417.COM


Morning Event

$15 per person; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; call 417-837–2617 or visit sbtdc.missouristate.edu for more information.

SPONSORED EVENT

B-SCHOOL BREAKFAST SERIES

For the past few months, four local companies played The Great Game for Small Business, a pilot program created for smaller companies using the openbook management style of The Great Game of Business. Listen to all four companies speak of their experience. When: 7:30 – 9 a.m., Thursday, June 13 Where: Andy B's, 1127 E. Battlefield Road, Springfield Cost: $15 in May, $20 in June More information: biz417.com/ bschool

 Noon – 1 p.m., Wednesday,

management, record keeping, tax planning and reporting, banking services, insurance, managing cash flow, financial management and more every Monday night throughout the month of June. Dinner is included each night. $10 per class, $45 for the entire course; Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, 4100 Gretna Road, Branson; for more information and to register visit bransonchamber.com.

WORKING WITH THE GOVERNMENT

 11:00 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday, June 7

of The Network's key events. This month, listen to CEO of CoxHealth, Steve Edwards about his experiences as a young professional. Free to members of The Network, $15 for non-members; Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield; for more information call 417–450–6764 or message katie@springfieldchamber.com. May 22

Hosted by the efactory, learn how government programs can help grow your business from a panel of experts. $10 per person; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; call 417-837–2617 or visit sbtdc. missouristate.edu for more information.

 7:30 –9:30 a.m., Friday, May 17 and June 21

LEADERSHIP MASTERMIND

417 SPONSORED EVENT

TIX

LEADERSHIP SPRINGFIELD ACCESS CLASS

Dive into becoming an effective manager and leader with People Centric Consulting Group. The organization’s event include dynamic presentations and engaging discussions to help those managing people use their leadership skills to the best of their ability. Breakfast is included. $40 per session; 425 Downtown Events & Catering, 425 W. Walnut St., Springfield; visit 417tix.com for tickets and visit peopleccg.com for more information.

Participate in a two-day workship that zeros in on making connections. Leadership Springfield's class is for mid to high level business professionals new to the area wanting to expand their connections. When: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 22–23 Where: Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield Cost: $500 More information: leadershipspringfield.org

 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Tuesday,

 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Ongoing

THE NETWORK CEO SERIES: STEVE EDWARDS, COXHEALTH

MONEYSMART FOR SMALL BUSINESS COURSE

May 21

Come enjoy key leaders at one BIZ417.COM

Lunch Event

beginning June 3

Learn the basics of building strong business credit, risk

SGFORUM: EMPOWER

This event is hosted by The Network and features two keynote speakers and three mini sessions that will leave you inspired and motivated. Catch the after party at Missouri Spirits. $65 per person; Veridian Events Center, 309 S. Ave., Springfield; for more information visit springfieldchamber.com/ thenetwork.  11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Monday, June 10 LEGISLATIVE LUNCHEON

Hear from your legislators as they discuss key issues throughout Missouri. $20 for members, $25 for non-members; Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center, 415 N. State Hwy 265, Branson; email esutliff@ bransonchamber.com or visit members.bransonchamber.com for more information.

Evening Event

All Day

non-members; White River Conference Center, 600 W. Sunshine St., Springfield; call 417-862–5567 or visit springfieldchamber.com for more information.  Ongoing, Fridays FREE FRIDAYS

Need a change in scenery? Drop by the efactory's coworking space and get some work done with other business professionals. The space is open for as long as you need, so drop by for an hour or stay for the whole day. Free; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; for more information visit efactory. missouristate.edu. Ongoing

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SBDC)

Take advantage of the SBDC's small business training courses and seminars. Class times and prices vary, and topics including how to build your business plan. Prices vary; efactory, 405 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield; call 417-837-2617 or visit sbtdc.missouristate.edu for more information.

 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Wednesday, June 19

HEALTH CARE OUTLOOK

2019 Health Care Outlook will shine a light on the healthcare industry and the impact it has on the Springfield economy. $35 for members, $45 for May/June 2019

75


[THE SCENE]

ATHENA Award Luncheon

The ATHENA Award recognizes a standout woman who has done significant work for the community, achieves professional excellence and opens opportunities for other women, and Morey Mechlin was named the recipient. The organization also announced the debut of the Virginia Fry Rising Star Award beginning in 2020. Date: March 6 | Host Organization: Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce | Location: White River Conference Center | Speaker: Christa Hogan, Executive Director, Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association | Website: springfieldchamber.com

Terri McQueary, Natalie Robertson

Michelle Bekemeier, Bob Roberts

PHOTOS BY BRAD ZWEERINK

Janet Anderson, Terri Blackmon, Jill Bright

Jennifer York, Anna Larriu, Emily Logan

PHOTO BY TK PHOTGRAPHER

Jeremy Knottek, Corey Harmon, Steven Hoaglin


[THE SCENE]

Good Morning, Springfield!

Guests met the five finalists for the W. Curtis Strube Small Business Award while listening to updates from the city, county, Springfield Public Schools and Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The lineup includes Air Services Heating and Cooling & All Service Plumbing, The Coffee Ethic, ESC Inc. Consulting Engineers, Loehr Chiropractic & Acupuncture and Mostly Serious. Date: April 4 | Host Organization: Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce | Location: O’Reilly Family Event Center | Website: springfieldchamber.com

Lacy Martin, Becky Gullet

Rob Bell, Alexis Brown

PHOTOS BY BRAD ZWEERINK

Dee Wilson, Rachel Lambert

PHOTO BY TK PHOTGRAPHER

Carly Taft, Steve Mayfield, Terri Patterson

Bryant Young, Jessica Harmison-Olson, Paden Wilcox


[THE SCENE]

Biz 417's B-School Breakfast: Women Who Mean Business

The 2019 class of Women Who Mean Business panelists spoke about entrepreneurship, diversity initiatives and succeeding a male-dominated industry. These five women shared secrets and wisdom with a sold-out crowd. The event was sponsored by Andy B's and OTC Center for Workforce Development. Date: April 11 | Host Organization: Biz 417 | Location: Andy B’s | Speakers: Stephanie Lynch, Julie Swift, Shelley Wehner, Angela Smith and Amanda Kastler | Website: biz417.com

Laura Bode, Holly Atkinson, Helen Agnew, Abby Akin

Lelia Voss, Kristy Chastain

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May/June 2019

Hollis Presley, Liz Tyler

PHOTOS BY BRAD ZWEERINK

Natalie Murdock, Sarah Watson

Victoria Mitchell, Jacqueline Post, Dee King

Sara Coatney, Veronica Lowe

BIZ417.COM


[THE SCENE]

Southwest Missouri Nonprofit Excellence Awards

Twelve awards were given at this year’s ceremony, based on nominations from the public. Rob Blevins with the Discovery Center won the Emerging Leader of the Year Award, while The Rebound Foundation won Startup Organization of the Year. Ozarks Literacy Council won the Revel with a Cause Award and Safe Kids Springfield won the Public Awareness Award. Date: April 16 | Host Organization: BKD CPAs & Advisors and Drury University | Location: Oasis Hotel & Convention Center | Website: bkd.com

Correy O’Neal, Julie and Paul Higgins

Karen Burnell Ruff, Danielle Wise, Stevie Stryker, Angie Perryman

Katy Spencer, Vania Figueroa

PHOTOS BY BRAD ZWEERINK

Dana Ford, Craig Dunn, Christina Ford

Ethan and Sarah Forhetz

BIZ417.COM

Isaac Schmidt, Jordan Harris, Kelsey Nichol, Sarah Bargo, Kay Kincannon

May/June 2019

79


PHOTO COURTESY JESSICA SHAER

DOWNTIME

An Anchor and a Teacher

From Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Jessica Shaer works at KSN TV, an NBC affiliate in Joplin. But on Saturdays, she takes part in her other passion: dance. When Shaer moved to Joplin from Tallahassee, Florida, she Googled dance studios in the area and reached out to Karen’s Dance Studio offering to teach classes. Now, she teaches classes throughout the school year to children ranging in age from 2 to 8 years old. “[Dance] has always just been a huge passion of mine,” Schaer says. “This next generation, I get to give them their introduction to it and show them it can be a great thing for you and your life.”—Evan Greenberg

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May/June 2019

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We’re inside the back cover for a reason.

We're behind the scenes people. We understand that good business doesn't always need flashy, front page advertising. We believe good business is best demonstrated with proven results — like NAI Enterprise's over $450,000,000 in sales along with over 5,000 multifamily units sold in 2018 alone. Most 417-landers will drive through town, not realizing they're driving past our projects. We're alright with that, but as a successful business person, we hope to catch your attention.

Commercial Real Estate | NAIenterprise.com | 417-208-5656 | 1414 E Primrose St, Ste 100


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Biz 417 | May/June 2019  

Springfield, Missouri's Hotel Boom: Why Six Hotel Developers are Betting on Springfield. Plus, meet the 2019 Excellence in Technology award...

Biz 417 | May/June 2019  

Springfield, Missouri's Hotel Boom: Why Six Hotel Developers are Betting on Springfield. Plus, meet the 2019 Excellence in Technology award...

Profile for 417mag